New research has uncovered that the Detroit Police Department used force and violence in the civil rights days to make racial segregation a reality with backing from judicial authorities who turned a blind eye, MLive reported.
“Detroit Under Fire,” a multimedia project from the University of Michigan’s Policing and Social Justice HistoryLab unveiled some of these fatal moves that cost Black people their lives and livelihood. The project brings to light the untold happenings of police brutality in Detroit, building a case from documentation and evidence of fatal shootings, and other happenings between 1957 and 1973, according to the article.
Matt Lassiter, a U-M history professor over project, said the ongoing police reform conversation needed to have background and historical foundations to lay the groundwork on today’s movements like Black Lives Matter.
Undergraduate students gathered hundreds of documents to develop a public record for areas where the police target most, according to the article.
“I think the truth of what happened should come out, and I don’t think hundreds of young Black males should be officially labeled felons, just because they got shot by the police,” Lassiter said in the article, adding that their next focal point will be on police brutality during Coleman Young’s reign starting in 1974.
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