Jim Crow Violence: Examples of Race Riots and Lynchings, 1965-1967 African American, Arrests, Black, Color, Court, Crowd, Discrimination, Fire, Great Migration, Jail, Jobs, Mobs, Negro, Neighborhood, Police, Rape, Segregation, Soldiers, South, Supremacy, Town, White

Jim Crow Violence: Examples of Race Riots and Lynchings, 1965-1967 [The editors of Americans All ] (c.1965 - c.1967) African American, Arrests, Black, Color, Court, Crowd, Discrimination, Fire, Great Migration, Jail, Jobs, Mobs, Negro, Neighborhood, Police, Rape, Segregation, Soldiers, South, Supremacy, Town, White

Note: Each “Jim Crow Violence” story cannot exceed 2,000 words, and the timeframes for the stories are determined by this limitation. Each of the six stories has a different photograph collection. Each photograph is linked to the text via a number in [bold brackets] and, where possible, the text and the photograph appear on the same page.

Race Riots and Lynchings​

1965 (Watts, Los Angeles, California): On the evening of Wednesday, August 11, 21-year-old Marquette Frye, an African-American man driving his mother's 1955 Buick while drunk, was pulled over by California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer Lee Minikus for alleged reckless driving. He was on parole for shoplifting. After administering a field sobriety test, Minikus placed Frye under arrest and radioed for his vehicle to be impounded. Marquette's brother, Ronald, a passenger in the vehicle, walked to their house nearby, bringing their mother, Rena Price, back with him to the scene of the arrest. When they returned, there was pushing, and counter reactions and the situation intensified. Price and her sons were arrested, and a crowd grew and began to throw rocks. Police were called in and the area of Watts became a combat zone (Video) for the next 6 days, with nearly 4,000 National Guardsmen deployed to support about 1,600 police officers. [52] Martial law was declared, and a curfew implemented. More than 30,000 people participated in the riots, fighting with police, looting white-owned homes and businesses, and attacking white residents. The riots left 34 dead, more than 1,000 injured, and about 4,000 arrested.

1967 (Newark, New Jersey):  In general, Black residents of Newark felt disenfranchised and that they were victims of racial profiling, creating a palpable sense of racial tension. On July 12, cab driver John Smith allegedly drove around a double-parked police car at the corner of 7th St. and 15th Avenue. He was subsequently stopped, interrogated, arrested, and transported to the 4th precinct headquarters. During that time, he was severely beaten by the arresting officers. As news of the arrest spread, a crowd began to assemble in front of the precinct house, located directly across from a high-rise public housing project. When the police allowed a small group of civil rights leaders to visit the prisoner, they demanded that he be taken to a hospital. Emerging from the building, these civil rights leaders begged the crowd to stay calm, but were shouted down. Rumor spread that Smith had died in police custody, despite the fact he had been taken out the back entrance and transported to a local hospital. Soon a volley of bricks and bottles was launched at the precinct house and police stormed out to confront the assembly. As the crowd dispersed, they began to break into stores on the nearby commercial thoroughfares. Eventually, violence spread from the predominantly Black neighborhoods of Newark's Central Ward to Downtown Newark, and the New Jersey State Police were mobilized. Within 48 hours, National Guard troops entered the city. With the arrival of these troops the level of violence intensified. At the conclusion of six days of rioting 26 people lay dead, an estimated 725 people were injured, and close to 1500 people had been arrested.

1967 (Detroit, Michigan): These riots were the bloodiest of the summer and were the result of tensions in the Black community that had been building for months. The inner-city Black population felt oppressed by the local police force that was 95% white. In addition, special squads of four police officers (The Big Four) had been harassing blacks and forcing them off street corners. During the late 1950s and early 1960s interstate highways were built through Detroit's Black neighborhoods, dividing and disrupting them. Whites, who had lived in the city's downtown area, moved to the new suburbs—taking with them many businesses and jobs. The Blacks who were left behind were poor and had little in the way of job opportunities. Discrimination in housing made it impossible for even Blacks with money to leave the inner city. As a result, Detroit's downtown neighborhoods were populated by poor Black people who felt helpless to improve their lives and were very frustrated. A routine event triggered the riots. On July 23rd, when the police made a raid on an unlicensed, after-hours bar, the 12th Street blind pig, they expected to find only a few people inside; but there were more than 80—having a party to celebrate the return of two service  men returning from Vietnam. As they brought people out, a crowd gathered around to watch. At first, the crowd was friendly and even joking around, but as the police stayed on the scene the crowd began to get unruly.  Someone threw a bottle at one of the policemen and others began throwing rocks. When the policemen fled the scene, the crowd began looting nearby stores and the riot was on and went for several days. Michigan Governor George Romney called in the Michigan National Guard the next day and later persuaded President Lyndon Johnson to send federal troops, 82nd Airborne. They were mostly Black members of the 82nd Airborne Unit, and thus had more success in calming the rioters and helping to bring the disturbances to an end. There were 7,000 Arrests, 1,189 Injuries and 43 Deaths and more than $5,000,000 dollars in damage

Post-1967: A Timeline of U.S. Race Riots Since 1967

Causes of civil disturbances of 1967  (There were 159 race riots in the Summer of 1967)

A timeline of police violence and race riots in the U.S.   (The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia)

A video of the top 10 worst race riots in American History  

Famous Riots in U.S. History

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