Vivian Strong

On June 24, 1969, 14-year-old Vivian Strong was shot and killed by James Loder, a white police officer, while leaving a party in the Logan Fontenelle public housing complex. Vivian was one of many teenagers at a dance party in a vacant housing unit that had been left unlocked by the maintenance crew. After a neighbor called the police and officers arrived, the teenagers ran from the party. Officer James Loder raised his gun and fired a single shot, hitting Vivian Strong in the back of her head as she ran away. Vivian was killed instantly. The shooting death of this unarmed Black girl by a white police officer sparked several days of turbulent protests along 24th Street. Burning and looting destroyed both white and Black owned businesses between Hamilton and Lake, forever changing this vibrant Northeast Omaha community. Vivian Strong was the fourth of ten children, and the emotional toll of her death had a devastating effect on the family. In March of 1970, an all-white jury acquitted Officer James Loder of all charges related to killing Vivian Strong.