Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Neighborhoods
  3. Community Issues

1967 to 2014: The assault on Detroit

See also

The video contains offensive language.

This week marks the anniversary of Detroit’s race riot during the week of July 21, 1967. A lot of things happened to change Detroit during that week, but what precipitated afterwards changed everything in the city forever.

Prior to the riot Detroit was not known as the murder capital. But the economy was taking a downward spiral and people would start looking for another way to make a living. The sudden influx of drugs during this time would cause a human devastation in the city that would forever leave its mark.

The past

During the late 60s’ and early 70s’ a government subsidized methadone clinic opened up on the corner of Forest and Woodward Avenue in the City of Detroit. Returning Vietnam Vets would line up outside the door waiting for the cup of pink liquid which was to help them wean off of opioid dependence.

However, methadone is a powerful narcotic drug in the same class as heroin.

In 1971 the Nixon administration set aside $14 million to put more detox clinics in place before the end of the year. Still, it wasn’t clear whether the drug could truly wean an addict off of both methadone — which is itself addictive — and heroin. Vietnam Veterans and Heroin: Addicts Find Treatment in Palo Alto, 1971 | LIFE.com http://life.time.com/history/vietnam-veterans-heroin-addiction-treatment-photos/#ixzz38PYqrDwH

Methadone is mainly used in the treatment of opioid dependence. It has cross-tolerance (tolerance to similar drugs) with other opioids including heroin and morphine, and offers very similar effects but a longer duration of effect. Methadone is known to be habit-forming, even at regular doses. It should not be shared with someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. http://www.drugs.com/methadone.html

Oddly enough, the meth clinic on Forest and Woodward closed its doors as miraculously as it opened them. To this end, there was a desperate population of drug addicts roaming the streets with no other recourse but to buy or steal drugs from the local dealers. Employment opportunities for returning vets were few and far in between.

It may be conceivable ( in one of Grimm’s Fairy Tales) that the government did not know the full effects of methadone before it was unleashed upon the population for free, but there is no tall tale in the fact that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was bringing cocaine into California for nationwide distribution.

The drug kingpin ”Freeway Ricky Ross” became known as ”The Wal-Mart of Crack” in Los Angeles during the early 80s' by becoming the largest supplier of drugs in the area. Ross was unaware that his source of drugs was a CIA operative connected to the Iran-Contra scandal associated with George Bush and Ronald Reagan.

Freeway Ricky Ross’ multimillion dollar business made him a supplier of drugs to Detroit’s infamous Young Boys Incorporated (YBI). As such, the long arm of our government was spreading its cocaine distributions from coast to coast. The distribution of drugs at this time was limited to inner cities.

At his peak, Ross' empire earned up to $3 million per day.

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/richest-criminals/f... Reports indicate that Freeway Ricky Ross was the highest paid drug dealer in America during his time.

Detroit bankruptcy documentary on Crime: Gangs, drug dealers, decline of the economy, is a very graphic first person account with YBI former members.

YBI unashamedly takes credit for Detroit’s urban destruction by way of drug wars, creating unsafe neighborhoods, ruthless intimidations, adding to the corruption of public officials, and YBI’s undeniable presence.

In the video one former YBI member states that people say it takes a “village to raise a child, but now, where is the village?”, as he visually scans the dirt lot where houses and stores use to stand.

Milton “Butch” Jones the founder of YBI expounds on his reign of violence in the city and how he had to order or carry out murders in order to keep his incorporation on top. Jones was a master-mind at his enterprise. He employed/exploited minors to do his bidding on the streets, thereby the boys would receive a lesser sentence when arrested for selling drugs. Detroit and its surrounding suburbs were very profitable for Butch Jones and the American Government. Jones eventually sent his young boys to other states to sell the white powder of death.

Many of the youngsters looked up to Jones and wanted to dress, drive, and slang just like he did. One YBI member finds humor in the fact that they helped in part to close down the factories in Flint, MI. The member said that where there is money drugs can be sold. On Friday when the factory workers got paid, YBI would go to Flint for three days and sell their wares. Cars built on Friday or Monday were known to be lemons; on Friday the workers would be high and on Monday they would still be coming down.

A Drug Enforcement Agent (DEA) who came to Detroit to infiltrate the drug trade stated that what happens in a city is mimicked in the factory. Factories are little cities where drugs are sold, prostitution is apparent, illegal deals are carried out and gambling is common place. The agent said that he became an undercover supplier for drugs in three local factories.

During the mid to late 70s’ the racial disturbance in 1967 was no longer a symbol of civilian martyrdom. Whatever rebuilding that occurred after the riot had ceased and drugs had become a lucrative business on the streets of many urban cities. The factories in Detroit were downsizing, assembly lines were being streamlined with the introduction of robotics, and jobs were heading out of the city with “white flight”.

Detroit finally won the title as the murder capital. Battles for drug turf took its toll on neighborhoods, it destroyed homes, and it was linked to corrupt police officers and public officials who reaped the profits. The death toll from murders got the attention of the world. The political climate, the economic devastation, the loss of factory jobs, and the returning veterans made conditions ripe for preying on inner cities.

Freeway Rick

In interviews and documentaries Ross glorifies his millions and admits that money was a very persuasive motivator. He maintains that he was able to allude police for eight years because he kept a low profile. He did not drive the fancy tripped out cars. He did not wear the bling nor did he live in a million dollar mansion with all of the amenities.

He cautions that the “life” will come to an end and that there is no value or merit in dealing drugs. One must assume that Ross had a violent side to his existence, as drug dealers do not get to the top by knocking on doors like girl scouts. Yet, he does not discuss killings or mass murders in his interviews.

Butch Jones

By stark contrast Butch Jones was flashy. He dressed flashy, he lived the high life, and he drove the most expensive cars. In interviews and documentaries he is obsessed with the violence he unleashed on his adversaries. He talked violence and lived violence. He graphically describes his first hit and how he wanted to look in his victims face right before he killed him.

The present

There is no moral defense for the actions of these men or any other drug dealers. They deal death and they sell death. Nonetheless, Butch Jones did make a very poignant observation. He said that he lived the American dream. He maintains that America was obtained by violence, mass murders, and enslavement of others. He got his millions by playing the rules of the American game.

”The American Drug War: The Last White Hope” details the circumstances of the connections between Ricky Ross and the CIA, showing how the connection was publicly exposed in the media and then largely forgotten by the public while CIA drug trafficking continues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX_-xMqg-6E

Drugs in America still have a strong hold on our existence. A death threat against Detroit Police Chief James Craig was made through social media by a gang member who is likely part of a criminal narcotic network. Craig said, “… the threat will not deter the work that has been done to curtail crime in the city, which includes an average of 35 weekly raids on confirmed drug dens. Craig stated that “…we’re going to dismantle your criminal [enterprises].”

http://www.freep.com/article/20140223/NEWS01/302230119/chief-james-craig-death-threat-detroit Marlon A. Walker

Advertisement

Related Videos:

  • Free yoga in Balboa Park
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518306265" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518306265&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Monday: 15 Now Workers' Summit for a living wage in Columbus
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/P-mjIqAp-wc?rel=0?rel=0&amp;VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Solar Energy festival will be held in Balboa Park
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517799170" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517799170&autoStart=true"></div>