Hundreds Attend Vigil at Site of Fatal Police Beating
DETROIT (AP) _ More than 200 people gathered for a candlelight vigil at the spot where a man was dragged from his car and fatally beaten by police.
The case evoked comparisons to the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King by white officers whose acquittals this spring led to rioting in Los Angeles.
″I think justice will be served,″ Venessa Brooks said at Tuesday night’s vigil. ″If it’s not, we’ll have trouble, I would say. That’s what happened in Los Angeles, isn’t it?″
Police Chief Stanley Knox has suspended seven officers for watching or taking part in last Thursday’s beating of Malice Green, 35, who is black. Wayne County prosecutors say warrants could be issued this week against some or all of the officers, most of whom are white.
The City Council on Tuesday struck down a call for the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners to investigate the beating and department policy regarding the use of force.
The council agreed to wait until Knox has completed his investigation before deciding whether to submit the case to the civilian review board.
The board investigates citizen complaints against officers and sets and reviews department policy. The five-member board is appointed by the mayor.
Green was beaten with flashlights by two white plainclothes officers who approached him after he parked his car near a suspected crack cocaine house, Knox said. Five other officers watched or took part, Knox said.
Knox said the case bore similarities to the March 1991 beating of King, who was repeatedly clubbed and kicked after a high-speed car chase in a Los Angeles suburb. The beating was videotaped by a resident.
Four officers were acquitted of nearly all charges on April 29, setting off days of rioting in which 53 people were killed.