*The Annapurna/MGM Pictures presentation of “Detroit,” based on a 1967 police raid, is the brutal truth of reality unrestrained. Directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark 30), Detroit follows the events of one of the largest citizen up-rest in U.S. history following the 1967 12th Street riot.
While the Michigan National Guard patrolled the streets three innocent people were tortured and killed by local task force at the Algiers Motel. The Detroit riot was the most documented event of police brutality in the country. Detroit arrives at theatres August 4, 2017.
Detroit stars Anthony Mackie (Ant-Man) as Greene a war veteran just released who check into the motel; John Boyega (Stars Wars: Force Awaken) as black Security Guard Dismukes working across the street from the motel who came on-site as a witness; Algee Smith as Larry an original lead singer of The Dramatics who was visiting the motel at the time; Jacob Latimore (The Maze Runner) as Larry’s manager/best friend Fred; Laz Alonso as Detroit Senator Conyers; Leon Thomas as Darryl a member of the group The Dramatics visiting the motel; Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton) as Carl a black motel patron; Ben O’ Toole as Detroit Officer Flynn; Will Poulter (The Maze Runner) as racist Detroit Police Officer Krauss who was being investigated for willfully killing two black people during the riots several hours prior to this incident; Hannah Murray (The Numbers Station) as Julie Hysell a white visitor to the motel who was held and brutalized by Detroit Task Force for being with blacks; Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction) as Detroit Police Officer Demens; Kaitlyn Dever as Karen Malloy a white girl, friends with Julie, visiting the motel who were playing cards with war veteran Greene at the time of the incident; Joseph David Jones (“DC’s Legends”) as Morris a black patron at the motel; Malcolm David Kelley (“Lost”) as Michael a black patron at the motel; Nathan Davis, Jr. (:Criminal Minds”) as Aubrey a black patron of the motel; Payton “Alex” Smith (“Luke Cage”) as Lee a black patron of the motel; Tyler James Williams (“Everybody Hates Chris”) as Leon a black patron at the motel, and Oscar nominated Jeremy Strong (Zero Dark 30) as Attorney Lang. Others include Ephraim Sykes, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Samira Wiley, Miquel “Bruno Mars” Pimentel, Glenn Fitzerald, Mason Albany and Bennett Deady.
Detroit was written by Mark Boal and producers include Kathryn, Mark, Matthew Budman, Megan Elison and Colin Wilson. Hugo Lindgren and Greg Shapiro serve as executive producers. Detroit portrays the brutal events that led up to the death of three innocent black men and the brutal beating and humiliation of nine others (which included 2 white women) by members of the “Detroit Riot Task Force,” which consisted of the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Army National Guard. All who were charged, including the black security guard on-site, with murder but later were found not guilty. Their claim was that two of three deaths were self defense, but for the other death there has still not been an explanation.
The Algiers Motel was black owned at the time by Sam Gant and McUrant Pye, who owned two other motels in Detroit. The previous owner of the motel barred black people from patronizing, this changed with the ownership. After the Algiers Motel incident the police never reported the deaths. The motel security found the bodies the next day and called the Police Homicide Bureau. The incident was initially reported as deaths from gunfire exchange because of the riots, but the Detroit Free Press interviewed the witnesses that were eventually let go who all claimed the same – the men were unarmed and not snipers as claimed by police. The deaths were then reported to Congressman John Conyers, Detroit prosecutors and the NAACP on July 29th.
The Detroit Free Press hired a pathologist who examined the bodies. His conclusion was that all three had been killed inside the motel at close range from behind. Later that week The Detroit News reported that the black war veteran Greene had testified that all three were killed by a National Guard Officer. Howeverm Detroit Officers Ronald August and Robert Paille confessed to taking part in two of the three killings and were subsequently charged with murder. Paille’s charge was dismissed because his confessional was given before he was read his right to be silent and the jury gave a “not guilty” verdict for Officer August because he said the killings were self-defense.
A book on the Algiers Motel incident was published in 1968 and it contained information on the incident and the legal proceedings. The book sold over 550,000 copies of which the author, John Hersey, donated for college scholarship funds for black students. Paille and Senak, though found innocent, never went back to work at the Detroit Police Department. August resigned in 1977. Two of the three families of the murdered filed lawsuits against the Detroit Police and settlements were awarded. The Defense Attorney Lippit, who did not hide his prejudice against black people during the trail, stated publicly that he was “hoping for all the prejudice” he could get from the jury. He is now a judge in the courts of Oakland, California.
Detroit is an Annapurna Picture, First Light Production, MGM Pictures’ production and is Rated – PG. Director Bigelow invited Juli Hysell as special advisor on the film and she was present every day on set during the shoot. Watch the trailer and learn more at www.Detroit.Movie.com arriving in theatres August 4, 2017.
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: 18th annual “Uplifting Minds II” Free Entertainment Conference (Baltimore and Los Angeles in October, 2017). Entertainment Business panel and national talent showcase competition (vocal, songwriting and dance) with over $13,000 in prizes. www.UpliftingMinds2.com.