Killed: July 29th, 1919
Cause of death: Shot
Thomas Joshua, an African American, was born on September 5, 1900, in Mobile, Alabama. His parents, Wen and Anna, were also from Mobile. Most likely, they migrated to Chicago as part of the Great Migration though when is unknown; Joshua lived at 5236 S. State Street with his parents. While in Chicago, Joshua worked at the Union Stock Yards, located on Exchange Avenue, as a laborer. During the riots, Joshua got into a confrontation with a Chicago police officer named Lieutenant Day, then traveling with his son, daughter, and another Chicago policeman, Officer Mitchell, along 51st Street. According to the Chicago Commission on Race Relations report, “as the automobile reached Wabash Avenue a colored boy pointed a gun at it.” The two traded shots, and Joshua was struck and died. The coroner’s jury indicated that Day was justified in firing, stating, “we are of the opinion that Thomas Joshua came to his death from revolver shots fired by the police officer in discharge of his duty.” Joshua died at 51st Street and Wabash Avenue at the age of nineteen.
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