Detroit Riots of 1967 Essay

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The late 60s were a time of unrest in the United States; many cities were experiencing race riots. The riot in Detroit started on July 23, 1967, this ended up being the deadliest race riot in the history of the United States, and the riot lasted five days. During the course of the Detroit riot forty-three people were killed, 1,189 people were injured, and more than 7,000 were arrested. After the riot President Lyndon B. Johnson established a commission to investigate the riots in Detroit in 1967. President Johnson informed the commission that they had the freedom to follow the truth where ever it would take them. The commission was chaired by Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois. According to the report President Johnson instructed the …show more content…
At that time only seven percent of the police force was African American, in a city where approximately thirty percent of the population was black. Police also verbally abused the blacks in the area by calling them “boy” or “nigger” while asking them where they were going and who they were. When stopped even if just walking through their neighborhoods, they had to produce identification. If they didn’t have proper identification on them they were arrested or worse. The Detroit Free Press did a survey of blacks after the riots. The survey showed that police brutality was the number one problem before the riots. In the time since the riots the city of Detroit has gotten fewer complaints from citizens about the police force. The complaints they do receive stem from isolated incidences, according to Robyn Meredith of the New York Times, these incidences are not acceptable practice anymore. The Detroit police have received specialized training in dealing with large crowds since the riots. In July 2003, Detroit made an agreement with the Federal Justice Department to do a thirty month investigation into police shootings in Detroit. The Justice Department looked into how the shootings were handled within the police department. The city agreed to this investigation because in the five years leading up to the investigation the city paid out $8.6 million dollars to settle six lawsuits, which involved police shooting citizens. In 2002

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