(27970) Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPPSD), Police, Confrontation, 1970

Police officers and local media crowd the scene as members of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPPSD) are led to a police wagon after a 9-hour stand-off. At center, left is newspaper columnist Nadine Brown, who served as an intermediary between the Black Panthers and the Detroit Police.

The confrontation began when two police officers attempted to issue ordinance violation tickets to two men who were selling newspapers on the sidewalk. The accounts of what happened next vary, however, a fight broke out between the officers and members of the crowd that had gathered, back-up was called for and shots were fired. The result was a nine 9-hour siege in which four police cars were destroyed by Molotov cocktails, one police officer was wounded by shrapnel and Patrolman Edward Smith was killed by a shotgun blast to the head. 15 young defendants, seven men and eight women, who had barricaded themselves in the Community Center were charged with murder and conspiracy to murder.

(27970) Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPPSD), Police, Confrontation, 1970
Photo negative
Detroit News Staff