Cops Disciplined


Fifth Estate # 75, March 20-April 2, 1969

For once it appears that it pays to be black.

At least the sons of prominent black ministers and politicians.

The Detroit Police Department actually disciplined several of it’s men for their drunken and cowardly beatings of several black youths after a church dance Nov. 2 of last year.

Commissioner Johannes Spreen called the attack “unprofessional, uncalled for and unexcusable.”

A patrolman was fired and two sergeants were busted to patrolmen and another was ordered to forfeit $5,000 in pay. One patrolman was found innocent. Two others were found guilty in a previous hearing and two officers are facing criminal charges in connection with the beatings.

The action came as a result of charges by a group of black youths that they were beaten by off-duty police as they left the dance held at the Veteran’s Memorial Building. The policemen were also attending a dance sponsored by the Detroit Police Officers’ Wives’ Association held on a different floor of the same building.

The youths said the unprovoked attack came as they were leaving the building. Several of the young men were chased down the street with gangs of drunken pigs in pursuit. Those that were caught were beaten.

Councilman Nicholas Hood said that his son had been threatened at the dance and escaped a beating by out-running his pursuers. At least three of the youths were assaulted.

Another youth had his car stomped by the gang of police and when it was returned to him from the auto pound, it was covered with Wallace for President stickers.

So it seems if you are the son of a prominent black person in town and are beaten up by the police you can expect that some sort of punishment will be meted out to your assailants. But if you have the misfortune to be a poor black or white or student or worker or radical watch out for your head.

Fuck up your police.