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Exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration

Marilyn Church. Police Officer Thomas Shea Listens as Ms. Glover Testifies about Son Whom He Shot, April 11, 1975. Color water-soluble crayon on tan laid paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (061.00.00)
LC-DIG-ppmsca-51570 © Marilyn Church
Gift of the family of Marilyn Church

Mother of Slain African American Child Testifies

On April 28, 1973, Thomas Shea, a plainclothes New York City police officer, shot ten-year-old Clifford Glover in the back as the child ran away from him. Glover was walking with his stepfather Add Armstead when the unmarked police car pulled up, and thinking it was a robbery, the two ran. Unaware he had shot a child, Shea stated Clifford had turned to fire a gun. Ballistics tests showed Shea's bullet hit Clifford's body from the back. Because Shea had fired at a fleeing suspect whose supposed weapon was not found, he was charged with murder. The jury, eleven white men and one African American woman, found Shea not guilty. However, a police proceeding led to Shea's dismissal for firing his weapon "wrongfully and without just cause." In this drawing, Eloise Glover testifies in a later hearing. In 1979 the city settled with the family for $115,000.