Silence, Power, and Injustice: Historical Patterns of Police Violence Against Women in Detroit

This investigative report illustrates the patterns of police violence against women by the Detroit Police Department between the 1950s and the 1990s. In addition to high-profile protests against police killings and beatings, the report documents recurring violence that resulted from everyday traffic stops and home invasions; retaliation against women who filed brutality complaints or sought to protect their sons and partners; systemic police violence as well as sexual assault against female sex workers; and frequent failure to respond to requests for assistance from poor Black women.

This report is part of the Policing and Social Justice HistoryLab, an affiliate of the Carceral State Project at the University of Michigan.

Author: Lily Johnston



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