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Malcolm X Confronts Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty in New York

July 26, 1962 - Malcolm X, minister of Nation of Islam Temple No. 7 in Harlem, drew an angry response today when he took the Mayor of Los Angeles to task on the killing of a Black Muslim in a clash with the Los Angeles police on April 28. “I didn’t fly to New York to be questioned by Malcolm X,” Mayor Samuel Yorty said. “I regard the Black Muslim movement as a Nazi-type movement preaching hate.” Mayor Yorty stressed that the slaying incident would be decided in the courts. Defending his racial impartiality, he recalled that he had appointed a former complaint chairman of the local chapter of the NAACP to the Police Commission. He suggested that some local Negro papers should “check out those stories” before printing what he called “inflammatory and ridiculous charges” of police brutality. Malcolm X raised the issue from the floor during a symposium on “The Negroes in Our Cities” at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. After the meeting, Mr. X rejected the Mayor’s “hate” charge against his group and added, “I’d rather be a Nazi than whatever Mr. Yorty is.” Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the NAACP, told Mayor Yorty that he had “inherited what we consider a problem” in the person of William H. Parker, Los Angeles police chief for the last 12 years. The Mayor countered that Mr. Parker as a “brave, fine, honest man.”

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