“It seems all too frivolous to try listing the litany of atrocities visited upon the powerless by the powerful.”
—Editorial, the Fifth Estate, August 1, 1968
Tensions were running high in Inkster, an integrated suburb, on August 8 because of the closing of a teen center run by militant black youths.
That night a State Policeman was shot and killed by a man shooting from a car while investigating the wounding of two Inkster cops several hours before.
Two policemen, who Inkster authorities refuse to identify, saw two persons walking along Middlebelt Road and as they pulled along side the pair suddenly began to run.
The officers chased them into a nearby wooded area where one juvenile was caught. The other boy, 14 year old James Matthews, made the mistake of continuing to run. The cops shot James and hit him. He was dead on arrival at Wayne County General Hospital at 3:55 a.m. of multiple gunshot wounds to the back, chest, and extremities. Algiers.
James was one of 10 children of Mr. and Mrs. Hosie Matthews. Friends and relatives said he was not a troublemaker, but was “frightened of the police.”
It would seem he had reason to be.