Former Police Chief Ike McKinnon looks back at the 1967 Detroit Riots

Former Police Chief Ike McKinnon looks back at the 1967 Detroit Riots


JUST 23 YEARS OLD. HER STEPDAUGHTER IS 20.>>>YOU MAY QUESTION WHY DID THE 1967 RIOTS HAPPENED?>>WHAT WAS THE SPARK THAT CALLED — CAUSED ALL OF THE VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION. WE’RE LOOKING BACK TO LOOK FORWARD 50 YEARS LATER.>>>OVER THE NEXT NINE WEEKS WE WILL BE DOING STORIES LEADING UP TO THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1967 RIOTS. YOU WILL FIND PEOPLE GOING TO DIFFERENT REASONS FOR THE UPRISING OR REBELLION, WHATEVER YOU CALL IT. THE MOST IS THE WAY DETROIT POLICE TREATED MINORITIES LIVING IN THE CITY. THE MAN WHO HAD A FRONT ROW SEAT TO IT ALL IS FORMER DETROIT POLICE CHIEF, MIKE McKINNON.>>♪ [ MUSIC ] WALK INTO ISAIAH IKE McKINNON’S OFFICE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT MERCY, YOU WILL SEE HOW THE DECORATED FORMER DETROIT RELEASED TO PROFESSOR, AUTHOR, AND PROUD GRANDPA HAS LIVED HIS LIFE.>>THE BASEBALL FIELD USED TO BE OVER THERE.>>THE ECHOES OF GROWING UP HERE, ONCE PLAGUED BY ABUSE BY POLICE, CONTINUE TO PLAY HIS MIND.>>IT IS CALLED THE BIG FOUR. FOR VERY LARGE WHITE OFFICERS.>>THEY WOULD JUMP OUT WITH THEIR MACHINE GUN AND RIFLE. AND THEY WOULD THROW THESE MEN AGAINST THE CAR. AND THEY WOULD BEAT THEM UP.>>THESE WERE FIVE MEMBERS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT AND SHARED IN THE DETROIT REDRESS — FREE PRESS DOCUMENTARY. THE STORIES BECAME REAL WHEN I LISTEN TO McKINNON RECALL HIS EXPERIENCE.>>THE BIG FOUR. THEY GRABBED ME, THREW ME AGAINST THE CAR AND THE NAME- CALLING AND THEN PROCEEDED TO BEAT ME UP.>>THAT DID SOMETHING TO YOU, RIGHT?>>THAT EVENIN I MADE A DECISION THAT I WOULD BECOME A DETROIT POLICE OFFICER.>>AT 22, HE BECAME AN OFFICER.>>THERE WERE OFFICERS WHO WERE THERE WHO WANTED IT NOT TO BE INTEGRATED.>>[ BACKGROUND NOISE AFTER ONLY TWO YEARS ON THE FORCE, DETROITERS ANGER WOULD BOIL OVER AND ERUPTED INTO THE 1967 REBELLION.>>OUR THOUGHTS IS THAT IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN HERE. THE REALITY WAS, WE DIDN’T REALIZE HOW ANGRY PEOPLE REALLY WERE.>>WITH RIOTING WHERE HE LIVED, I CAME HERE TO HIS PARENTS HOME AND HIS OLD NEIGHBORHOOD. I SERVED FOUR YEARS IN THE AIR FORCE, RECEIVED — AND SAW TANKS ROLLING UP DOWN THE STREET, AND IT BROUGHT ABOUT A DIFFERENT FEAR.>>I STARTED SEEING OFFICERS AND NATIONAL GUARDS PEOPLE SHOOT INDISCRIMINATELY AT HOUSES.>>THE GUNS WERE NOT JUST AIMED AT HOMES, I FOUND A WEAPON DRAWN ON HIM BY A FELLOW OFFICER DURING THE RIOTING.>>HE SAID GET OUT OF THE CAR. THEY USE THE RACIALLY DEROGATORY TERM. I SAID POLICE.>>IKE REFUSED TO QUIT THE FORCE AS SO MANY DID.>>I HAD TO STAY BECAUSE I WAS NOT GOING TO BE A VICTIM OF MY ANGER.>>FOR MANY, THAT ANGER STILL QUIETLY SIMMERS.>>I HAVE TO CONTINUALLY [ INDISCERNIBLE ] I HAVE TO GIVE THEM HOPE.>>WE HAVE TO LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES SO THE ECHOES OF THE PAST WILL BE FOREVER SILENCED.>>WE TEND TO FORGET OR SOMETIMES PEOPLE WANT US TO FORGET. WE CAN FORGET WHAT HAPPENED.>>CERTAINLY RIGHT ABOUT THAT. WE WILL HAVE A SPECIAL SHOWING OF THE DETROIT STREET PRESS DOCUMENTARY FILM ON SUNDAY, JULY 23 ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1967 RIOTS. THIS FILM WAS DONE IN COLLABORATION WITH CHANNEL 7 AND BRIDGE MAGAZINE. IT WILL AIR IN 7:00. IT IS A POWERFUL PART OF OUR HISTORY. YOU WILL NEVER FORGET IT. A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO LOOK BACK BUT WE OFTEN LOOK BACK TO LEARN.>>IT IS SO GOOD TO HEAR FROM THE CHIEF. SO MUCH OF THAT WAS REBELLION AND UPRISING.>>YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT HE WAS ONLY 14 WHEN HE WAS BEATEN UP BY THE BIG FOUR. HE HAS COME FULL CIRCLE.>>I THINK HE HAS BEEN A

4 thoughts on “Former Police Chief Ike McKinnon looks back at the 1967 Detroit Riots

  1. I'm amazed this video doesnt have more views and comments. I'm not even an American and i'm a student of Detroit History

  2. I assume the racially derogatory term he is referring to is used daily amongst the current group.. Stop the crime, knockout games, and antisocial behavior and the police will leave you alone..

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