Trials: The Algiers Verdict

The role of the ghetto policeman, said the Kerner Commission report, "is already one of the most difficult in our society. He must deal daily with a range of problems and people that test his patience, ingenuity, character and courage in ways that few of us are ever tested." Patrolman Ronald August, then 28, faced his test on the night of July 26, 1967, when Detroit writhed in the grip of the decade's worst ghetto riot. He was one of three policemen who, with state troopers and National Guardsmen, rushed into the Algiers Motel seeking a reported sniper. They...

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