Violent clashes between Blacks and police officers continue in Northern ghettoes.
1970 (Oct 24 - 25)
Violent clashes between Blacks and police officers continued in Northern ghettoes. The attacks began the evening of October 24, shortly after a white-owned grocery store across from the all-Black pyramid housing project was burned. Several carloads of armed Blacks riddled the police station in Cairo, Illinois, with hundreds of rounds of gunfire, three times in six hours. No officers were wounded, and the attackers were repelled after each assault. It was the first outbreak in racially tense Cairo since September of 1969. Cairo Mayor A.B. Thomas called the incident an "armed insurrection." In Detroit, on October 24, Black police officer Edward Smith was killed and another officer was wounded in an altercation with members of the National Committee to Combat Fascism(NCCF). The disturbance was triggered by an incident involving the sale of Black Panther party literature on a Detroit street corner. The NCCF claimed that two policemen beat two youths distributing the literature, and that police fired the first shots in the melee. According to police accounts, the policemen were felled by shotgun blasts from the NCCF's headquarters. Fifteen Blacks were arrested after a day-long confrontation around the offices. Seven men and eight women were charged with murder and conspiracy.