Interview with Jim Ingram

Take us back to '67 and the gas station.


It was the third day of the rebellion in '67 in the afternoon. We were on our way to pick up a young lady who had been stranded at work because the buses weren't running. And we were in this gas station 'cause the guy was driving needed gas. And I realized that there was a ban on gasoline. The governor had posted a ban and, ah, there was a car in front of us and a guy who looked like a service station attendant was pumping gas and we discovered all of a sudden that he was stealing the gas because he jumped in the car and sped off around the corner on two wheels. At this point the State Police car came flying down the street firing automatic, semiautomatic weapons at him and I said, "Oh heck, we're in trouble. You know, they're going to think we're stealing the gas," and, ah, when we were just sitting there discussing it. So I told the guys, "Put your hands behind your neck" and we got out and the police came and ordered us, "Hands behind your neck." And they pointed these weapons at us. Lined us up against the wall and, ah, "We told them, we, you know, we weren't stealing gas, we were trying to figure out what to do, what was going on because we thought this guy was selling it." Ah, they said, "We got to keep you, get you people off the streets and we'll straighten it out later at the station." Ten minutes later, this Detroit Police van comes careening around the corner and, ah, this White male jumps out with a police type uniform on, no badge, brown army helmet askew on his head, crosswise, a real wild look on his face and he yells, "Oh so you niggers want to fight, eh?" And we, at that point, looked at each other, "What's, what's, what is it with him?" You know, and, ah, he directed us to get into the back of the van. As each one of us proceeded to get into the back of the van, he kicked the first two of us, as they went in, and, ah, my brother Don and I, we kind of did a little change of pace, fakery and kind of caused him to go off balance and he missed kicking us, so. ah, we missed getting kicked. Had to sit in the van for some 40 to 45 minutes. They turned the heat up as high as it could go. And, ah, we just sat there and sweated for, I guess, the better part of an hour.


Let's cut one. Let's cut.