Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 17:58:08 -0500
From: email@example.com (Ian Malbon)
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Police Conduct in Rave Raid (Full Text)
As I promised, the following article was been transcribed from the
3/15/95 edition of the MetroTimes, Detroit's longstanding "alternative"
newspaper (whoops, forgot the 'TM' on Alternative). :)
Submitted for your review and thoughtful cognition:
POLICE CONDUCT QUESTIONED IN BROADWAY STREET RAVE RAID
On Saturday, March 4, Lauren Steinhardt and some friends went
to a rave party at 1515 Broadway in Downtown Detroit. Steinhardt
had said she earlier had "a bad vibe about the night," but she
danced, walked around, and had a good time.
Until the police showed up.
"They kicked through every door, came in screaming and
shouting 'Get on your knees!' and 'Hands up!' They acted like we
were doing something horrible," Steinhardt said.
At 2:45 a.m., dozens of Detroit police with guns drawn raided
the party. Tagging along behind police, a Channel 7 news crew
filmed the raid in progress. More than 200 adults and 33 minors
were ticketed that night for loitering.
In the wake of the Broadway Street raid, many people are
asking questions about police and news media conduct before, during
and after the event.
For people like Chris Jaszczak, who runs the space at 1515
Broadway, the trouble began a week before the raid. On the
previous Sunday, the Detroit News ran a cover story on raves which
Jaszczak described as "utterly irresponsible and inciteful...full
The article described decadent late-night scenes involving
sex-starved teenagers on Ecstasy dancing and begging to be fondled,
15 year-olds giving free massages, and security guards protecting
young girls from being raped.
The News article also said: "Rave parties break most of the
laws of normal clubs. Organizers never check ID; many ravers
appear to be under 18. And it's not uncommon to see illegal drugs;
LSD, marijuana and Ecstasy. Many of the buildings are unsafe, with
one exit and virtually no bathrooms, fire alarms or light."
Steinhardt, who called the News article "absurd," said it
probably provoked the police to raid 1515 Broadway. "It's too
coincidental that one week after they had a front-page story, they
do this. They let raves go on before, for years. It's a weird
media ploy," Steinhardt said.
Are the ravers, as some have claimed, victims of a setup by a
police department trying to rebuild its image?
Many ravers wonder how Channel 7 news managed to arrive at the
scene just as police raided the premises. Patricia Mills, Channel
7's public relations manager, denied the station knew about the
rave beforehand, although she said several camera vans were
surveying the area before the raid.
"They (the cameramen) saw the article in the News last week,
and they were on surveillance at the location when police made the
bust," Mills said.
Another news management person at Channel 76 who wished to
remain unidentified said, "we were invited by the police to cover
He then changed his statement. "We were tipped off by a
nonpolice source," he said. "There was no collusion between us and
Lt. Christopher Buck of the Detroit Police Public Information
Office also denied collusion between police and the news media.
"We don't tip them off," Buck said.
Jaszczak agreed that the raid did seem "scheduled," but
insisted the party at 1515 Broadway was much more innocent than the
ones depicted in the News article.
"The police made a mistake," he said. "They thought they were
busting some other party...It was a bunch of young people dancing
and drinking water."
Some of those ticketed in the raid questioned police conduct.
Jen Hamilton, a 23-year-old, said they used excessive force.
"They pushed us around, shoved us, grabbed us," she said.
"they used profanity like 'Get your fucking hands up, don't fucking
look at me'.... They accused me of ditching my drugs. Some of
them made lewd sexual innuendoes.... One said 'That's a kind of
skimpy, sexy outfit to be wearing in the winter.' The way they
handled the situation was totally uncalled for. There was no need
to push us around or put your hands on us."
Hamilton said that after the police entered the party, they
separated the crowd by sex. The partygoers had to keep their hands
above their heads for over an hour while they were searched by
"The cops were really mean," Steinhardt said. "Two girls were
propositioned by cops.... One girl was searched and they took the
money out of her wallet."
Michelle Smith, a 19-year-old Oakland University student,
shared a similar story. Smith said the police took $7 from her
wallet, and never returned it.
"Those cops are corrupt because they stole my money," she
said. "I know two other people who got their money stolen too."
Another girl who wished to be identified as Bonnie said:
"I was standing at the door when the cops busted in. I got
shoved against a table, then thrown on the ground. They were
throwing everyone around. I have a chipped bone now and bruises
all over.... And nobody gave them any resistance.... It was
completely unnecessary.... We didn't do anything wrong.... It was
She added: "The cops were very forceful, brutal; they came in
looking for a fight. Some of us were kind of laughing at them
because they were so aggressive."
Mike Egan, 17, said a cop insulted him several times, put him
in a police hold, and threatened to beat him badly. "The cops were
out of line. They said, 'I'll kick your fucking ass' and stuff
Lt. Buck would not comment on the allegations: "We don't
comment on people's imagination."
Buck added: "Pure accusation is just air. Anybody who makes
accusations should file a complaint, those (police officers) who
are wrong will be punished; those who are not will be exonerated."
At one point, a police official hopped on stage and delivered
a speech, according to numerous ravers.
"He got on stage and said 'Don't you have parties in my city
anymore. This is my city. And I won't have this any more in my
city," said Bonnie.
After the raid, the minors were taken to Police Headquarters,
ticketed and released to their parents. Many of the others were
ticketed on the premises, then released.
Most people--including Jaszczak--were ticketed for "loitering
in a place of illegal occupation (blind pig)."
Yet there is some question whether the party at 1515 Broadway
can be classified as a blind pig.
"We are a club, and not a bar. We do not serve alcohol....
We do not have a liquor license," Jaszczak said. He said no
alcohol was served at the March 4 party. Many ravers, like
Hamilton, say the same thing.
Although police said illegal drugs were found at 1515
Broadway, no one was arrested for possession.
Contrary to the report about raves in the Detroit News,
Jaszczak said, he checked IDs at the door. Many ravers, even
minors like Bonnie, agreed. Bonnie said she was carded, but used
a forged ID to get in.
All of those ticketed at the 1515 party are scheduled to
appear at 8:30 a.m. March 312 in 36th District Court in Detroit.
many ravers say they'll plead not guilty to the charges.
(reprinted without permission from the MetroTimes, 3/15/95)
Information, if it can't be free, now wants a percentage.