Summer 1967 was a tipping point for race relations in the predominantly black neighborhood of Virginia Park, Detroit. For decades, racial profiling and the excessive use of force by a disproportionally white police department made the area feel less like a neighborhood and more like a police state.
On July 23, 1967, a police raid on an unlicensed bar resulted in the arrest of 82 black residents, sparking outrage across the community and resulting in one of the largest riots in US history. For five straight days rioting and looting enveloped the city, prompting President Lyndon B. Johnson to mobilize the National Guard. When the smoke cleared, 43 people were dead and over 1,000 more injured. In total, over 7,000 people were arrested and over 2,000 buildings destroyed.
These pictures capture the disturbing scene that unfolded during July 1967 in Detroit.
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