Killing by Detroit Police Has Echoes of Rodney King Case

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.

"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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