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Today in history: The Detroit Rebellion of 1967
Early Sunday morning, July 23 1967, Detroit police raided a blind pig (a speakeasy that pays off the police to operate) on the city's notorious 12th Street and triggered the biggest riot in American history."
See: "The Great Rebellion: A Socio-economic Analysis of the 1967 Detroit Riot
Sunday - July 23 1967
3:45 a.m. Detroit police "clean-up squad" raid a blind pig housed at Economy Printing, 12th Street/Clairmount. Angry crowd of locals begins to form outside, eventually numbering some 250 people.
4:05 First paddy wagon loaded and departs for 10th Precinct.
5:00 D.P.D. departs with last prisoners under hail of projectiles.
5:05 Mob flows down street breaking windows. When police do not reappear, looting begins.
5:06 Tenth Precinct's Lt. Raymond Good investigates complaint of "burglar alarms going off on 12th Street."
5:11 Lt. Good arrives at Economy Printing and witnesses swarms of crazed people. When he exists the cruiser to get a better look he is hit with a brick. Good radios all cruisers to stay out of area in hopes that rioters will cool down faster without a inflaming police presense.
5:20 Police Commissioner Girardin notified there is a flare up on 12th Street. Girardin notifies Mayor Cavanagh.
6:00 Detroit police begin calling in off duty officers. Strength bolstered to 369 men but only 43 committed to riot area.
7:50 Detroit police Commandos conduct sweep of 12th Street but proves ineffectual. At least 3,000 rioters present. Belle Isle closed.
8:24 First fire is started. Detroit Fire Department arrives and extinguishes fire without incident. All police leaves cancelled. Twelve hour shifts ordered.
9:00 Crowd on 12th Street now between 8,000 – 10,000.
9:33 Black community leaders attempt to calm thousands of rioters on 12th Street and are stoned in return.
10:00 Police strength now 1,122 men, approx 1/4 of department. Of these, 540 sent to riot area, 108 attempting to cordon off streets entering riot area.
10:30 Police now find themselves under a barrage of bottles/stones. Character of riot is changing from carnival atmosphere to violence...