Interview with John Conyers

Tell me what you did though, it sounds frightening what you did a car.


Well, that was the next day. That was the next day, on Sunday when it became on clear that that was, that was not going to be our luck. That, ah, crowds were gathering, ah, you could see smoke off in the city's horizon, that other fires were being started in other places. I remember we had this incredible incident of, ah, here were all these policemen dressed in Black with helmets, weapons, and then they had bayonets on their rifles and they were, a platoon of them were standing there on 12th Street, at the top of 12th Street. And it was so provocative, everybody would come by and say, "See that? Look it. They're getting ready to attack us." So we, ah, we, the civil rights leadership and indigenous leaders, ah, immediately contacted, ah, I remember Arthur Johnson and Hubert Locke and others, ah, we contacted the mayor and said, you know, "You have to take those bayonets off of those weapons. Are you out of your mind?" Well, of course he didn't know that. But we finally got them to do that. They, they did that. But this was the kind of provocative scene, ah, and more and more people kept coming out. The streets were clogged. We couldn't get people to disperse. Ah, there, there was this mumbling going on and, ah, ah, ah, you could hear in the background sometimes windows being smashed and stores being looted, houses were being set fire to. And, so I, ah, ah, I was thinking that maybe, I, I'm looking with people that I knew. I mean these were not strangers. These were, these were, ah, my constituents. These were people that supported me that I knew and knew me. ABut they were angry, so angry, the hostility.