Hold The Street & Seize The High Ground

FOR long hours last week, Detroit's police hung back from the Twelfth Street riot area. Apparently, one resident quipped, they were hoping that "if they left, the crowd would leave too." But if there is one point that has been proved repeatedly over four summers of ghetto riots, it is that when the police abandon the street, the crowd takes it over, and the crowd can swiftly become a mob. It happened in Watts, in Boston's Roxbury district, in Newark and in blood and fire in Detroit.

Some civil rights leaders would agree, as...

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