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News ::
People are finally doing something about police brutality (english)
18 Jun 2003
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The governor declared a state of emergency as hundreds of people rioted for a second night over the death of a motorcyclist during a police chase.
The rioters set at least five buildings and five cars ablaze in the impoverished city of 12,000, where allegations of police harassment have been a source of tension. 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.

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 shooters.


The police chief said the rioters threatened to set fire to Benton Harbor 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.

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
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