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O/T State Of Emergency


New member
Kilo Klub Member
Jun 9, 2002
This is what the state of michigan called in my town last night. There were shootings, houses burning, beatings and much more that have taken place within the riots the last 2 nights. This all stemed from a cop chasing a motorcyclist, which lead to the rider to lose his life. The police says he lost control, but witnesses say the cop hit the motorcycle which caused him to lose control and jump a curb and be smashed through a wall of an abadoned house. Through the investigation it is stated that the officer inquestion(who is a real fuck stick) didn't have a camera mounted in his car, so there is no documentation of the chase. I call bullshit on this one as, I also was chased and ditched this fucker on my crotch rocket and he had the entire chase on video when we went to court. However all you couls see was blurs and colors. It hasn't been a good couple of days in this town. The ski's were lit up all throughout the night as the rioters wouldn't let the fire trucks get near the houses. I'll post a link if I can find it.
By JAMES PRICHARD, Associated Press Writer

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Police quelled a second night of disturbances after rioters protesting the death of a motorcyclist during a police chase set at least five buildings and five cars on fire.

Allegations of police harassment have been a source of tension in the economically struggling city of 12,000. The rioters shot one person in the shoulder and beat and stabbed others, police said. In all, 10 to 15 people were hurt, none seriously.

"It is so unnecessary. It is unbelievable to see this in our community," said Samuel Harris, police chief in the city on Lake Michigan, 100 miles from Chicago.

About 150 state troopers and 100 other police officers used tear gas and other non-lethal methods to quell the violence by about 4 a.m. Wednesday.

"The idea is to try not to injure anyone but cause them enough discomfort so they will leave," Harris said.

"We have no history of a real problem with the people in the community," Harris said Wednesday on "Good Morning America."

"We're basically predominantly a black community," he said on the ABC program. "Many of our police officers are white, but I seldom have complaints of the racial nature."

Benton Harbor was 92.4 percent black and Benton Township 51.9 percent black, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. The motorcyclist who died was black, and the officers who chased him were white.

Harris said authorities "will probably" impose a 10 p.m. curfew for Wednesday and the rest of the week.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm discussed the situation with State Police Col. Tadarial Sturdivant on Wednesday, said Liz Boyd, the governor's spokeswoman.

"Our office, at the governor's direction, is currently having conversations with community leaders in Benton Harbor, and the director of the state police, Col. Sturdivant, will be following up with local law enforcement as well," Boyd said.

Benton Harbor and Berrien County declared a local state of emergency late Tuesday but the governor's office had not received a request to add a state declaration, Boyd said.

One of the burned buildings was a vacant two-story structure where Terrance Shurn, 28, of Benton Harbor lost control of his speeding motorcycle and crashed early Monday. Police say one other burned building was vacant and three were occupied.

At least two people in a car fired shots at officers as the vehicle drove through a police barricade and the officers returned fire. No one was hit, and the police arrested the alleged shooters.

About 300 people joined in the second night of rioting, which began about 8:30 p.m. Officers surrounded a six- to eight-block area but held back until launching their counterattack about 2:30 a.m.

Police arrested at least seven people. The charges were not announced.

"It looks like a war zone. It's terrible," Dorothy King, who lives near the crash site, told the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune. "I'm scared to go to bed."

Formerly a popular tourist destination, Benton Harbor has fallen into economic decline, although appliance maker Whirlpool is headquartered there.

The police chief said the rioters threatened to set fire to police headquarters, the vehicles around it and city hall. He said police stood guard to protect them.

Residents interviewed earlier Tuesday said Benton Harbor's problems were the result of years of police harassment.

"We're tired of it now. We're tired of it," Antonio Cornelius, 21, said Tuesday morning. He said he happened on the scene about midway through the first night's riots.

His cousin, 11-year-old Trenton Patterson, was struck on a sidewalk and killed in September 2000 during a pursuit involving police from nearby Benton Township, the same department that was pursuing Shurn.

Tuesday night's crowd kept firefighters at bay as the buildings burned. Rioters attacked and injured at least two firefighters who were trying to reach the building where Shurn died.

The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reported media vehicles and reporters were targeted at one point as a car had its windows smashed.

During the first night's riots, officers were outnumbered and unable to arrest any of the hundreds of residents involved. Residents burned down a building across from the crash scene and pelted police with bricks and bottles.

The rioters caused extensive damage to four Benton Harbor police vehicles and caused minor damage to three others.

State law allows police agencies involved in high-speed pursuits to continue their chases into neighboring police jurisdictions.

Benton Township officials promised Tuesday night to examine their policy on high-speed police chases after about 70 residents and city officials questioned them at a public meeting about Shurn's death.

Township police Chief Jimmie Coburn said: "It probably should be changed; we will change it."

Police said they did not know why Shurn fled from the officers, although his operator's license had been suspended and officers found a small amount of marijuana on him, state police Lt. Joseph Zangaro said.
local paper

House burned, police vehicles vandalized during Benton Harbor riot

By TED HARTZELL / H-P Metro Editor and LYNN STEVENS / H-P Staff Writer

BENTON HARBOR -- Hundreds of people rioted late Monday night and early this morning along a four-block stretch of Empire Avenue in apparent anger over a police chase early Monday in which a Benton Harbor motorcyclist died.

Rioters burned a vacant house, damaged three Benton Harbor police vehicles and hit several police officers with bricks and bottles, police said.

Police said some people also fired off shots, but police said they themselves did not shoot.

Apparently no one was hurt by the rocks or bottles or gunshots.

The clusters of people dispersed peacefully around 2 a.m. after police using a loudspeaker urged people to go home or face being charged with felonies. Approximately 60 police had converged on the scene, with state police coming from as far away as the Battle Creek and White Pigeon posts.

The violence happened in the same area where Terrance Shurn, 28, was killed around 2 a.m. Monday when his motorcycle crashed into an abandoned house at Empire and Pavone Street. The quiet, impromptu vigils that had been kept at the site in Shurn's honor were replaced late at night by violence. The house that was torched, and which was reduced to only a charred skeleton, was across the street from the accident site.

Around 6:30 this morning, several hours after the riot ended, a fire engulfed an abandoned house at 765 Lavette St., the Benton Township Fire Department said. That fire is just blocks from Monday's fire at the abandoned house.

It was not immediately known if the later fire was tied in with the earlier violence.

The street violence, which began about 11 p.m., followed violent words earlier in the evening by some of about three dozen people who showed up at Benton Harbor City Hall for a City Commission meeting. Angry at Shurn's death, they protested high-speed police chases in general. Some made threatening remarks about Benton Harbor police.

When the rioting broke out, the Benton Harbor police were first on the scene. But Chief Samuel Harris pointed out that he typically has only three officers on patrol at any one time. Anticipating trouble, he had held back his three day-shift patrol officers until late at night, but when no trouble developed, he let them go home.

But a short time later trouble did brew on the streets.

"They called me a little after 11" p.m., Harris said around 2 this morning as he stood at the police command center of Empire and Broadway amid a small army of police and their vehicles.

Harris said rioters were "throwing bottle and bricks and what-not at the police cars. Later they set a house on fire."

"They bricked us so bad" that firefighters and police couldn't get to the burning house, he said. The sheriff's department said several nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution because the fire department wasn't able to immediately get to the burning house.

Harris said officers did not have shields and other protective equipment at first, but they went and got them and returned.

"We charged in and cleared the street," said Harris, who as Benton Harbor police chief was in charge of all police on the scene.

In the aftermath, Empire Avenue was littered with broken glass and bricks.

Police turned out in force from surrounding departments to bolster the small Benton Harbor department. A SWAT team, a police dog and an armored vehicle - the Berrien County Sheriff's Department's Peacekeeper - were among the defenses police had as they massed at the intersection of Empire and Broadway, a block from the burning house and motorcycle accident site. Police departments that sent officers included St. Joseph Township, the city of St. Joseph and several posts of the state police. The sheriff's department sent a large force.

Many police cars were positioned in the intersection and in the parking lot of a party store.

A reporter arriving around 1:30 saw clusters of people gathered east of the intersection along Empire Avenue.

A few women expressed anger at what they said was a pattern of harassment by Benton Township police. It was a policeman from that department who pursued Shurn into Benton Harbor after a sheriff's deputy had earlier stopped pursuing him, state police said.

"They harass us, they pull us over for nothing," Evette Taylor said of Benton Township police. "We fed up. When do you say 'Enough!' "

Taylor, who lives on Columbus Avenue, said she and other people had been putting flowers and other items at the motorcycle crash site and trying to grieve Shurn's death when police asked them to move.

"He was a sweet person, and he don't deserve to die this way," she said.

Anger in City Hall

More than three dozen angry people crowded the regular Monday night audience at the City Commission meeting and spilled into the hall. They came to protest all high-speed police chases in the wake of Shurn's death.

Ordinary Benton Harbor protocol requires people addressing the commission to state their names and addresses before speaking. Only a few of the protesters bothered. They said they wanted to spend every second of their allotted time threatening Benton Harbor police - who were not involved in the chase - and demanding some kind of action from the commissioners.

A man who identified himself as Micah from Union Street embraced most of the crowd's complaints in his comments. He said, "All of you here heard and knew the chase was called off."

He said state police (actually the sheriff's deputies) called off the chase, but a Benton Township officer saw the motorcycle speed by and pursued Shurn into the city.

"How can somebody come into our city and chase somebody? What's going to be done?" he asked.

Mayor Charles Yarbrough called for order in the commission chambers so police Chief Harris could answer. But the crowd derided Harris and interrupted his explanations.

Harris said because the police chase was multi-jurisdictional, he turned it over to the state police to investigate. He told the crowd that Benton Harbor does not use the same radio frequency as do Benton Township, the sheriff's department, St. Joseph and surrounding departments, so the only way those departments can communicate with Benton Harbor is through police dispatch, and that takes a phone call instead of instant radio contact.

He tried to explain further, but the crowd shouted him down.

"The chief ain't from here," one man yelled. "He don't know nothin.'"

"We don't need no chief," another said. "We can chief ourselves."

Harris spoke a little louder. "We can't respond if you don't allow me to respond." The yelling and rumblings continued for a minute, then the crowd quieted.

"I understand the emotion here, but as chief of police there are laws I have to follow," Harris said.

He explained that state and federal laws allow police to cross into other jurisdictions if they are in hot pursuit of a suspect. He said he was called about 2:30 a.m. Monday, about a half hour after the cycle crashed, and only learned of the incident then. Harris said that because he had not heard the chase itself, he did not know any more than they did why Shurn was pursued. But he explained, "In this county, you can go anywhere in Berrien County and make an arrest."

"Because we do not have an accident reconstructionist, I asked the state police to investigate," Harris continued. The noise level in the commission chamber rose, and a woman near the door yelled repeatedly, "What was his (Shurn's) crime?"

Mayor Yarbrough told the crowd the problem could not be settled Monday night, and he asked if Commissioner Leroy Harvey would call a special meeting of the Public Safety Committee for Thursday afternoon. The crowd did not want a meeting.

Finally, Commissioner Ralph Crenshaw, the dead man's uncle, spoke to the crowd.

"What I'm going to say is coming from the heart because I'm still grieving," he said. "We did what we thought was right at the time - we passed a resolution saying no high-speed chases in Benton Harbor. We didn't go far enough. We should prohibit all high-speed chases."

The crowd applauded, then continued to rant against police and city government.

Commissioners quickly approved the 2003-2004 budget and routine maintenance items in a single vote.

After the week's business was concluded, Harris commented further on the early morning chase. He said he had requested state police investigators who were not acquainted with any of the people involved. He said the county prosecutor was consulted before any action was taken.

"As far as the citizens are concerned," Harris said, "they need to give us the opportunity to look into this. We will be fair and impartial and let the chips fall where they may."
I think this, and other such incidents should be seen for what they are-
Overagressive asshole cops versus (and harassing) citizens,
-instead of-
White cop vs Black citizen.
i hate to be the asshole here but, isnt the city in question one of the highest in regards to murder per capita??? if i am wrong then i am sorry for the comment but, if i am right i think the picture gets bigger. alot of my friends are cops. and yes, some cops are assholes... but, if you are a cop in a high crime city and see this kind of violence day after day and making very little money..stress will build and ,after all, they are only human... i hate the fact that cops will take it out on decent , law abidding citizens...but, how does the cop know who is lying and who is a criminal.?? i have seen good, decent guys, go out for the police force with great intentions. years later, they are very hardened and become...well assholes. but, it seems like the job can make them that way quick...it is no excuse but , just a fact. the key is to get rid of the officers who are fried and are turning callous...if they do not , the only difference between the cops and the criminals is the badge..not good.. i hope that the violence stops...after all, all the citizens are doing is hurting themselves by destroying their town...AND ARMAGEDDON, STAY OUT OF IT BROTHER... it takes only being in the wrong place at the wrong time to completely alter your life!!! stay safe and weather the storm... :(
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Lats, I agree with you 100% bro

When cops become burned out and they lose sight of why they originally became a police officer, it is time to hang up the badge becuase as you stated the only difference between cops and criminals is the badge.

How many times do think when sources get busted or you read that thousands of d-bol tabs were confiscated in a bust, how many times do youthink all of the d-bol tabs make it to evidence? And not just that drug money, weapons, cars etc, are all taken and not reported by cops. Those guys are the real criminials if yu ask me.

Saw this shit happen with some frequency when I lived in Miami. Overtown riots where often sparked by an incident between a cop (often hispanic) and a local (often black).

Always amazed me how people are able to destroy their own neighborhoods... afterall, they still gotta live there :confused:

Lats, thios place is the murder capital of the world per capita. If it isn't on a given year it's in the top 3. I'm just glad that it's not a bigger area, because it would just be worse. I drove down to one of the road blocks yesterday to check it out. I was a block from one of the burning houses then I got the fuck out of there. I just had to fix my curiousity. IT was CRAZY, that shit just made no sense. Me and one of the guys from the team were at the beach running some routes and sprints and when we left you could see the fires from the bluff. It was NUTS. I've always seen shit like that but when it hits so close to home it takes a whole other level. The only time I ever say something like this was when detroit was set on fire on devils night. And that couldn't even compare. My teamate went over to his grandmas house so he could watch it out the window. He was real good friends with the guy that died and he felt that what they did was a bunch of shit. He said that it wasn't even about tshirt anymore, it was just about being ignerant inner city blacks. This is coming from a brother himself that lives in this shit on a daily basis. There isn't any good that's going to come from this, what so ever. But know for certain that I won't be invovled in the mix. I've spent my fair share of time down there and I know what would happen if I was there. Everyone always wants to test the swole white boy. Ain't testing me anymore these days cause I have bigger and better plans than checking out the getto. LOL
Yup unless the motorcycle rider had been wanted for a murder,rape,robbery, they should have just let him go get a plate if they could have if not he would have slow down on his own.

Obiviously, once he sped up to get away he had no choice but to try to get away because if he would have stopped later the cops would have kicked the chit out of him. Believe me they do it all the time. The cops would have tried to ruin his life by charging him with as much as they could and unfortuanately whatever they say lie or truth would have been what happened.

Now days it seems that the public servants who police for the rich seem to have forgotten all aspects about the community within which they are working. No longer do they try to get to know the people but act like god by going around and get free this and discount that etc.

No longer protect and serve but harrass and aggrevate. Once again a life is lost over what probably started out as a minor traffic violation.
if he did nothing wrong then why run at all? and wtf is burning peoples houses down gonna do but ruin the town? i just do not understand rioting, looting etc your own city. thats just plain stupid!
I just got back from practice alittle bit ago and it got even worse, for me atleast. The team I play for is about 55 miles from were I live and one of the guys that lives in this town and that is on my team grew up were I live. It turns out that it was his brother that was on the motorcycle.
No offense to your home town but Benton Harlem has always been, how should I say it politically correctly..... a bit of a trouble town. There is always race shit going on there. Always was when I lived in Michigan, anyway.

my apologies to the board. after i settled down, i realized that i took my own anger out on this case, when it was from an incident, verbal and phsycial that i was unfortunatly involved in.

not knowing much about bikes, i shoulda kept my opinion to myself on this one.

again, my apologies

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Yes Benton Harlem does have some issues! There is no hiding that FACT. But as for the high speed chase, most places have a policy about that. The punishment should fit the crime and running from the cops shouldn't result in death, REGARDLESS. Like it was said before he didn't, rob or kill anyone so his life shouldn't have been taken. The nature of the accident just doesn't make sense to me. Going around a corner on a crotch rocket at high speeds, if you lose control the bike will slide out from underneith you. Not just go off and jump curbs. From the angle that he hit it, it looks to me like he was pushed. Which means that WES should have to pay the same price that Tshirt did. With his life. Wes has a bike that he rides around here all the time, showing off and what not. He's knew what would have happend from chasing him like that. As far as the white cop black cop thing, that really isn't the case around here. Cause if your around the "inner city" there's more black on black crime than anything. This just comes down to the police and the city(people) that have issues with each other. Ones been stuck in the situation for so long they don't know how to get out and the other doesn't know how to fix the situation.

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