Traffic is Normal

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Fifth Estate # 76, April 3-16, 1969

Editors’ Note: The following is a press release issued by Detroit Police Commissioner Johannes Spreen at 3:25 am on March 30 following the shoot-out between two police officers and 12 armed black men following a meeting of the New Republic of Africa. Events of the evening are still unclear as we go to press, but next issue we will feature in-depth coverage of the occurrence. All errors were in the original.

AT APPROXIMATELY 11:42 PM LAST EVENING TWO DETROIT POLICE OFFICERS ASSIGNED TO THE TENTH PRECINCT, PATROLMAN RICHARD E WOROBEC AND MICHAEL J CZAPSKI, WERE CRUISING NORTH ON LINWOOD AT PHILADELPHIA WHEN THEY OBSERVED A GROUP OF PERSONS, SOME OF WHOM WERE ARMED WITH RIFLES. THE OFFICERS NOTIFIED POLICE RADIO THAT THEY WERE GOING TO INVESTIGATE. MOMENTS LATER THE POLICE RADIO WAS NOTIFIED BY ONE OF THE OFFICERS THAT THEY NEEDED HELP IN A HURRY. OTHER POLICE UNITS RESPONDED TO THE OFFICER’S AID FOR HELP.

THE GROUP ENTERED THE NEW BETHEL CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA AND LINWOOD, AND THE RESPONDING OFFICERS WERE MEET WITH A HAIL OF GUNFIRE. WHEN ADDITIONAL OFFICERS ARRIVED AT THE SCENE, THEY WERE SUCCESSFUL IN ENTERING THE CHURCH UNDER FIRE AND EFFECTED THE ARREST OF MANY OF THE PARTICIPANTS. PATR MICHAEL CZAPSKI EXPIRED AT FORD HOSPITAL. PATR RICHARD WOROBEC IS PRESENTLY UNDERGOING SURGERY FOR WOUNDS RECEIVED IN THE ORIGINAL ENCOUNTER.

THREE RIFLES, THREE HANDGUNS, AND A QUANTITY OF AMMUNITION HAVE BEEN CONFISCATED. A GROUP OF PERSONS ARE IN CUSTODY FOR QUESTIONING IN THE MATTER.

THE AREA OF THE INCIDENT IS NOW QUIET. TRAFFIC IS NORMAL. FURTHER REPORTS WILL BE FORTHCOMING AS THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES. I REPEAT, THE SITUATION IS STABLE.

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