1967 Race Riots

In the early morning hours of Sunday July 23, 1967, the raid of a local “Blind Pig” in a predominately black neighborhood was the catalyst the Nation’s most destructive riot in history. The illegal bar was hosting a party for returning Vietnam vets. The police were expecting to find only a few patrons but had come to find 82 people which they arrested. A crowd began to form outside to protest their arrest and when the rumor of police violence spread; people began looting and lighting fires.

The tensions between race were not fixed after the 1943 race riots. A combination of a undermanned police force, and political tensions between the conservative Michigan Governor and liberal Detroit Mayor delayed the call for the National Guard. The National Guard was able to end the riot in less than two days, however, the riot itself lasted for five.

Although the start of the riot was not explicitly racial, the vast difference in arrests, police brutality, and deaths of African Americans to whites made it a racial issue. Many more African Americans were arrested, severely beaten, and killed without cause or sufficient evidence. It is suggested that many of the deaths of civilians by police and National Guardsmen was due to racial discrimination.

Below is a collection of all the media coverage of the 1967 Detroit riot.

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