Claude Reese death, obituary: Frank Bosco shot 14 year old Claude Reese in the head and killed him on September 15, 1974 in the Brownsville section, Brooklyn.
Frank Bosco was a 24 year old white policeman at the time.
Claude Reese death: How Frank P. Bosco killed Claude Reese, how Claude Reese shooting happened
On the day 14 year old Claude Reese was killed, 24‐year‐old officer Frank P Bosco was investigating a possible burglary in the cellar of the tenement building where young Reese lived.
Claude Reese, four other boys and two girls were in the cellar of his apartment building at 457 Powell Street renovating a room for a party.
At 9:46 P.M. an unidentified woman who said she was a resident of the building telephoned the police and reported loud noises in the basement. She said she feared that a burglary was in progress.
At 9:51 P.M. Officer Bosco, then assigned to the 73d Precinct, and his radio‐car partner, Officer Arnold Tamaroff, were told to investigate.
The District Attorney’s report said the officers ordered the seven teenagers “to stay where they were” when the policemen entered the dimly lighted cellar room.
The boys, however, ran through another door.
Officer Tamaroff held the two girls while Officer Bosco, with his .38‐caliber service revolver drawn, pursued the five fleeing boys.
According to the report, Officer Bosco was struck on the right knee by a hard object as he ran up a flight of basement steps toward a courtyard.
The officer said he saw young Reese standing above him in the courtyard, about five feet away, with what appeared to be a gun in his left hand. It was then, Officer Bosco said, that he fired the one fatal shot.
According to Frank Bosco, he fired his gun only after the young Claude pointed a pistol‐shaped handsaw at him that the officer said he mistook for a gun.
Other officers who searched the courtyard, after Claude was killed, found an 18‐inch handsaw with a pistol‐grip handle beside the boy’s body.
According to reports, the shooting marked the first time that Officer Bosco had fired his gun during his three years as a policeman.
Frank P. Bosco trial:
A Brooklyn grand jury cleared Bosco of criminal negligence in Claude Reese shooting death.
According to reports, the jurors had concluded that Officer Bosco “acted justifiably” and that the policeman “reasonably believed that he had to fire his weapon to save his own life.”
After Claude Reese death in September, at the height of the antipolice demonstrations in Brownsville, Commissioner Michael J. Codd stripped Officer Bosco of his gun and assigned him to clerical duties at Police Headquarters— a step just short of suspension.
However, by December 16, 1974, Officer Bosco was restored to normal duty. Reports add no departmental trial or action was planned against the policeman.
Reacting to the jury’s verdict, Officer Bosco said on a television newscast that he was “happy” with the grand jury’s decision but that “nothing could ever erase the hell have lived through for the last three months.”
Officer Bosco said he did not know if he could ever do his police job “at 100 per cent” again.
He was afraid to show his face during the newscast because he had received threats on his life and was concerned for the safety of his wife and baby. Two police bodyguards stood near him. His home was under 24‐hour guard.
“I did my job before and in the end I was treated like a criminal.
It destroyed me and my family. I don’t know whether I want to put them through it again.”
When Claude Reese’s mother, Mrs. Claude Reese Sr., was informed of the grand jury’s refusal to indict the officer on murder charges, she said she knew nothing about the action, adding, “Why didn’t they tell me?”