YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — Thursday, July 21 marks the 53rd anniversary of the death of two people killed in the 1969 race riots in York. A special service took place to remember the two people who died.
Benches in Farquar Park have the names of Lillie Belle and Officer Henry Schaad. Allen was 27 years old when she was shot and killed near the railroad tracks on North Newberry Street.
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Allen had gotten out of her family car which has stalled, with her hands up. White gang members, filed by weeks of racial tension, opened fire and killed her. Officer Henery Schaad was also killed during the riots.
Events organizers say the goal of the service is to honor the lives that were lost and to unify the community.
“Here we are 53 years later, and every time you look at the news that’s all you hear is people killing each other, racial violence, hatred. We need to spread the love we’ve got enough hate going around let’s spread a little love and see if we can help people heal,” event organizer Bob Mann said.
More than 30 years later in 2001, several white men including former York Mayor Charlie Robertson were charged with Allen’s murder. Robertson was later acquitted, while two other men were found guilty of second-degree murder.