The Algiers Motel Incident
On the evening of July 25, 1967, on the third night of the 12th Street Riot, Detroit police raided the Algiers Motel. Acting on a report of gunfire, officers rounded up the occupants of the motel's annex-several black men and two white women-and proceeded to beat them and repeatedly threaten to kill them. By the end of the night, three of the men were dead. Three police officers and a private security guard were tried for their deaths; none were convicted.
In The Algiers Motel Incident , first published in 1968, Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Hersey strings together interviews, police reports, court testimony, and news stories to recount the terrible events of that night. The result is chaotic and sometimes confusing; facts remain elusive. But, Hersey concludes, the truth is clear: three young black men were murdered "for being, all in all, black young men and part of the black rage of the time."
With a new foreword by award-winning author Danielle L. McGuire, The Algiers Motel Incident is a powerful indictment of racism and the US justice system.
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