Killing by Detroit Police Has Echoes of Rodney King Case

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AT the intersection of Warren and 23rd, where empty lots and boarded buildings still bear witness to the riots of the 1960s, there's a new focal point: the police violence of the 1990s.

On a wall adorned by flowers is a plastic-covered picture of Malice Green, a 35-year-old man beaten to death by police last week.

It has become a gathering point for neighborhood residents who come to see the spot where Mr. Green died, to see where gravel has been spread to hide the blood stains.

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"I can't believe this is happening in my city," Carrie Washington, a mother of three grown children, said in frustration. "The police used to be our friends."

The death of the black motorist at the hands of a racially mixed group of police has roiled this city, noted for its integrated, neighborhood-based policing.

The case resounds with disquieting echoes of the Rodney King case.

But those familiar with Detroit's police say Malice Green's death points to something else: an undermanned force lacking the money or leadership to weed out "thumpers," the violent cops of both races.

Green, an unemployed father of five, died from head injuries in a fracas with police a week ago.

Several hundred people, most of whom had never met Green, trickled into a Detroit funeral home for a wake Wednesday.

The funeral was scheduled for yesterday.

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