Just Another Guy with Opinions

Larry Davis Killed in Prison

Posted by shadmia on February 22, 2008


Depending on who you talk to, Larry Davis, 41, was either a folk hero or an out-of-control murderer whose victims included both the police and drug dealers. He was stabbed to death in a prison-yard fight on Wednesday, Feb. 20 2008, by a fellow inmate, Luis Rosado, 42, at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Ulster County, about 80 miles north of New York City.

Larry Davis and 21 other inmates were in the prison yard for recreation when he was fatally stabbed by a flat metal shank wielded by Rosado. According to Mr. Kriss, a corrections department spokesman, two prison guards spotted Rosado repeatedly stabbing Mr. Davis. They rushed to the scene and called an ambulance. A few minutes after ambulance arrived Davis was pronounced dead. Officials are at a loss to explain the attack. They said Davis and Rosado did not have a history of fighting each other. However both men had a history of violence:

Mr. Rosado, 42, was serving a sentence of 25 years to life for multiple counts of murder, assault and attempted assault. He had a long and extensive history of being disciplined for violent behavior during his incarceration — including assaults on staff and other inmates — corrections officials said, and had just recently been denied parole in 2007.

Mr. Davis also had a long history of being disciplined while incarcerated. His prison records indicate approximately 75 incidents that merited disciplinary action, including assaulting staff and inmates, making threats, harassment, and fighting. Mr. Davis was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, for the murder of a drug dealer and was also convicted of weapons charges. Mr. Davis would have been eligible for parole in 2016.

Mr. Rosado was arraigned at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Shawangunk Town Court and then returned to the correctional facility.

On Nov. 19, 1986, six police officers were shot, four of them seriously, while trying to apprehend Mr. Davis, then 20, at an apartment in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. Police had been searching for him in connection with the killings of several drug dealers. Davis said he opened fire in self defense and claimed police were after him because he knew about NYPD corruption. Davis was eventually acquitted on attempted murder and aggravated assault charges, but convicted on weapons charges stemming from the gun battle. His attorney said the acquittal and Davis’ subsequent hero status was a reflection of people’s frustration with white-on-black police brutality.

“The community rallied around Larry Davis, not because they thought he was some sort of wonderful human being, but because he was their symbol of resistance, of fighting back, a community that had oppressed by police violence and police brutality for decades,” said attorney Ron Kuby.

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who remembers being at the scene of the shooting and ducking from gunfire, says he was shocked by the acquittal, and troubled by the respect Davis gained in some circles for gunning down the officers.

“Those people are fools and they are giving heroic status to a criminal, regrettably there are people who will do that,” said Koch.

Koch said he didn’t shed any tears when he learned that Davis had been killed.

“He was a killer, and he shot six cops,” Koch said. “You shouldn’t take pride in the execution of anybody illegally, but I believe that there is a special oil pot in hell for him.”

A video documentary by Troy Reed about the life of Larry Davis, examines the conditions that existed at the time. It details police corruption and complicity in the drug trade and gives some credence to Larry Davis’ claim that the police were out to get him.

The Larry Davis Story Pt. I

The Larry Davis Story Pt. II

The rest of this series can be found in the Video section.


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One Response to “Larry Davis Killed in Prison”

  1. bravo said

    nobody seemed to question how just two years after killing davis that Luis Rosado also was killed in prison

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