(27964) Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPPSD), Police, Confrontation, 1970

Police officers and local media swarm outside of the National Coalition to Combat Fascism in America's Community Center located at 3376 16th Street (near 16th and Myrtle). At center, left is newspaper columnist Nadine Brown, who served as an intermediary between the Black Panthers and the Detroit Police during the 9-hour siege.

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.

(27964) Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPPSD), Police, Confrontation, 1970
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Detroit News Staff