It Takes a Team…

Your Police and You


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

“A top notch job” was the way Detroit Police Commissioner Johannes Spreen characterized the attack by 289 of his pigs on a peacefully assembled crowd at Cobo Hall last October.

Spreen said the blame for the clash following an appearance of Gov. George Wallace should be put on “those who provoke, those who instigate, those hurlers of missiles and invectives…”

One assumes he meant the demonstrators and not the beasts under his charge.

This report came two days after Spreen had taken disciplinary action against four officers for beating and threatening a group of black youths at the Veteran’s Memorial Building (See story on this page.)

This meant he was in trouble with the Detroit Police Officers’ Association, the group that really runs the force and couldn’t afford to take action against the police involved in the Wallace demonstration.

Spreen knew he couldn’t whitewash the Vets’ Building beating because of the stir it had caused in the black community and among black politicians. He knows the white activists are politically powerless and decided this was the case to whitewash to placate the pigs.

The fight at Cobo Hall started when Wallace fans attacked the protestors and the pigs joined in. They let loose with an indiscriminate attack on anything that walked including some persons not even connected with the demonstration.

Spreen made a big deal about the abuse and missiles showered on the police, but none of this occurred until after the attack by police had begun. Several persons sustained serious injuries at the hands of the police although the Commissioner neglected to mention this.

Spreen has called for a 90-day “Love-In” during which citizens are supposed to refrain from criticizing the police force. He must be crazy. By the whitewash of this little Chicago, Spreen has given the go-ahead for a 365 day a year “Hate-In” by the pigs.

Spreen has also initiated a campaign called “Buck Up Your Police” where he is trying to get local businessmen to provide money for new equipment.

As long as the police in this city are going to act like SS men, the only campaign this community is going to take part in is “Fuck Up Your Police.”

Spreen has declared war.