Eleanor Bumpurs
Died at Home
Mental Illness

Eleanor Bumpurs

New York
October 29, 1984
Eleanor Bumpurs
Eleanor Bumpurs

The shooting of Eleanor Bumpurs by the New York Police Department occurred on October 29, 1984. The police were present to enforce a city-ordered eviction of Bumpurs, an elderly, disabled African American woman, from her public housing apartment in the Bronx. In requesting NYPD assistance, housing authority workers told police that Bumpurs was emotionally disturbed, had threatened to throw boiling lye, and was using a knife to resist eviction. When Bumpurs refused to open the door, police broke in. In the struggle to subdue her, one officer fatally shot Bumpurs twice with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Bumpurs' shooting, one of several black deaths that inflamed racial tensions in 1980s New York, led to changes within the police department regarding responses to disabled and emotionally volatile persons. Officer Stephen Sullivan, who shot Bumpurs, was indicted on second-degree manslaughter, but was ultimately acquitted. Bumpurs' family sued the city for $10 million in damages, and settled for $200,000.

Eleanor Bumpurs

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