Interview with Ronald Scott
QUESTION 15
INTERVIEWER:

Um, if you could go back to that and start with the National Guard coming to the door and give me a sense of the powerlessness and nowhere to turn.

RON SCOTT:

The National Guardsman came to our door. They beat on the door. It was loud, we were inside, my mother, my brother and my sister, and myself. And I walked to the door and, you gotta understand they weren't just knocking on the door. They were knocking like they were gonna cave the door in. I walked to the door, it's a National Guardsman, a White guy standing there saying, "We heard somebody shooting in here. And we want to come in." And I said, "Nobody was shooting in here." He said, "Yeah, we heard somebody shooting in here." And, I was standing there, in front of my mother and everybody else. And my first instinct was to do something. These guys had rifles, bayonets, and the whole shot. There was nowhere to get out of the depar--the apartment, unless you jumped 14 stories out of the apartment. I felt, like there was nothing I could do, I guess the reason why we're not talking about it today, I feel, I, I, I, I f--it bothers me so much, it's because if I had had a chance to do anything about that situation. I might have been just like my friend, who was dra--who was dragged later out of, when, when the National Guardsman heard down the hall that. One of the Guardsman said, "The shooting came from this apartment, not from that one." When they walked out, they dragged my friend down the hall out, and hit him upside the head a couple of times. And dragged him on the elevator. And I've wondered where the shooting was coming from, and why he would shoot. But at that very moment, I was frightened, but I was so doggone angry, I was so angry until if I had had an opportunity. When we were standing there just like rats in a hole. And here's this guy, in my house, pushing up, us up in a situation where there's nowhere to go. If I had an opportunity, I probably would have grabbed him right there, and I might not be living today. But the point of it is is that he walked into my house, and there was nobody there to defend anything, or could've defended anything. And when I look back at that today, I think that, one of the worst things, about anybody that ever has to go through a situation like that, is feeling that you're helpless. Is feeling that there's nothing that you can do. And that you might die any moment. That's, so...



INTERVIEWER:

Okay. From the time the National Guardsman bangs on that door. Tell me what happened.

RON SCOTT:

On my side of the door, I'm standing there, I'm wondering, exactly what's gonna happen when I open that door. And I open the door, and there are about 4 or 5 National Guardsmen. All young, all White, looking around, with rifles and bayonets. They come in the apartment, my sister is 5 years old, my brother is 3, my mother is standing there. They come in our house, in our living room, they're standing there. And, by this time, in the 3, 4 days of the rebellion, there's been people killed. You know there's been people shot on the street, for no reason whatsoever. By this time, I'm angry, I'm fearful of what's happening. And this one guy, is looking at me as he come's in, he says, "We heard some shooting here." And I said, "There was no shooting here." He says, "Yeah, we heard some shooting here." And this guy is standing looking at me, at any moment that he can blow my head off, my sister's, and my brother's. And I know he didn't come there just to make a courtesy call, he's coming there because he assumes I had a gun. And everybody who had been shot, up to this point, they would of heard about, they all said that they had a gun. And that they were shooting at the police. That became the line, "This guy was a sniper, he was shooting at the police." And I knew that if I was shot, if my family was shot, that they could have closed the door in this apartment, and nobody would have ever known what happened.**. And when I looked in his eyes, and he looked at me, it looked to me as if, uh, it looked as if he wanted to kill somebody. And uh, when I think back at that situation, and I think about the circumstances, and I think about what I felt, I felt helpless, I felt angry, and I felt that my whole family and me could die at any minute, and nobody would be able to do anything about it. And I thought about the fact, that there were a lot of people out there, just like us, who didn't have any other choice. And when I think back about it, to this day, if I could have done anything at that moment, to strike back, to do something about that situation, that I might not be here today, because my little brother and sister, to this day, when I look back and think about the fact that some guy, from outside of Detroit, someone who, who didn't even know us could've of blown us away, it makes me mad. It makes me mad and it makes me realize that, uh, as my mother say, that God was protecting us. And uh, I believe that, if the guy who came in and said that the shooting was happening down the hall hadn't come in, that, uh, we might not have made it. There wasn't anything I could do.