33 Wayne L. Rev. 1723 (1986-1987)
Rioters and Judges: The Response of the Criminal Justice System to the Detroit Riot of 1967

handle is hein.journals/waynlr33 and id is 1737 raw text is: RIOTERS AND JUDGES: THE RESPONSE OF
THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO THE
DETROIT RIOT OF 1967
Sidney Finet
[I]t would now appear, George E. Bushnell, Jr., wrote the
deputy director of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights and
Law, that, for all practical purposes, the United States Constitution
was absolutely suspended sometime during the evening of Sunday,
July 23rd, to Tuesday, August 1, 1967.1 Bushnell was referring to
the treatment accorded the thousands of persons arrested during the
course of the Detroit riot that began with a police raid on a blind
pig in the early morning hours of July 23, 1967, and that became
the worst civil explosion experienced by an American city in the
twentieth century.'
The police arrested a total of 7,231 individuals during the
course of the 1967 Detroit riot, as compared with 3,952 arrests dur-
ing the 1965 Watts riot and 1,510 arrests during the Newark riot
that immediately preceded the Detroit disturbance. Of the 6,528
adult Detroit arrestees, 781 were white and 806 were women. The
703 juveniles arrested included forty-three whites and eighty-one fe-
males. The ages of the juvenile arrestees ranged from ten to sixteen,
most of them being between fourteen and sixteen. The adult ar-
restees ranged in age from seventeen to eighty, but about one-half
(3,381) were twenty-five years of age or younger. Including
juveniles, Detroit arrestees twenty-five years of age or younger con-
stituted fifty-eight percent of the total number of arrestees, similar
to the sixty percent figure for arrestees in eighteen riots occurring in
American cities between June and August 1967. Close to one-half
(48.6%) of the Detroit arrestees had arrest records, slightly above
the forty-five percent with such records among Newark arrestees but
t Andrew Dickson White Distinguished Professor of History, University of
Michigan. Professor Fine is nearing completion of a book on the Detroit riot of
1967.
1. Letter from George E. Bushnell, Jr., to Jacques Feuillan, Deputy Director
of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law (Aug. 3, 1967) (availa-
ble in Office of Religious Affairs Papers, Box 1, Archives of Labor & Urban Af-
fairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich.).
2. H. LOCKE, THE DETROIT RIOT OF 1967 at 13 (1967).

1723

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