1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer
    NJFFSA16's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    25 NW of the GW

    Post Benton Harbor, Michigan-FF's deal with riots

    Be careful out there brothers!

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Hundreds of people rioted for a
    second straight night, following the death of a biker who was being
    chased by police, setting buildings and cars ablaze as authorities
    declared a state of emergency.
    Police confirmed one person was shot in the shoulder, four
    houses and five private cars were on fire and several police cars
    were damaged in this southwestern Michigan city of about 12,000
    More than 100 police officers from the Michigan State Police,
    Benton Harbor and other nearby cities were on the scene in riot
    gear and preparing to use tear gas on the crowd early Wednesday
    At least seven people had been arrested, although potential
    charges were unknown.
    Gov. Jennifer Granholm approved a state of emergency for the
    city, which will allow for state resources, such as the National
    Guard, to be brought in, if needed.
    "Several hundred people are creating a significant disturbance
    in the streets," said Berrien County Sheriff's Lt. William Tucker.
    One of the buildings on fire was the vacant two-story building
    where Terrance Shurn, 28, of Benton Harbor, lost control of his
    speeding motorcycle early Monday.
    The building was heavily damaged as firefighters were kept at
    bay by the crowd. At least one firefighter sustained an injury from
    the crowd while trying to reach the building, Tucker said. The
    nature of the injury was unknown Tuesday night and the firefighter
    was taken to an area hospital for evaluation.
    The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reported reporters and media
    vehicles were targeted as one vehicle had its windows broken out.
    The angry shouts and screams from protesters carried down a hill
    to the St. Joseph River where police officers had their staging
    area, the paper reported.
    Residents interviewed earlier Tuesday said the problems in this
    mostly black city are the result of what they said has been years
    of police harassment - not racism.
    Telephone messages seeking comment were left Tuesday with Benton
    Township Police Chief James Coburn.
    During a three-hour melee that ended around 2 a.m. Tuesday,
    officers were outnumbered and unable to arrest any of the hundreds
    of residents involved.
    During that disturbance, four Benton Harbor police vehicles
    suffered extensive damage and three more received minor damage. Two
    fire department vehicles also were damaged.
    The violence followed Shurn's death 24 hours earlier.
    The chase started in Berrien County's Royalton Township, where a
    sheriff's deputy spotted two high-performance motorcycles traveling
    north toward Benton Harbor on Michigan 139 at speeds surpassing 100
    The deputy briefly pursued the pair but stopped because of the
    motorcycles' high speed. A short time later, Benton Township
    Patrolman Wes Koza witnessed one of the motorcyclists speeding and
    running stop signs, police said.
    Koza pursued the motorcycle into Benton Harbor, where it drove
    through yards, came back onto the street and ran more stop signs.
    The officer was several blocks back when Shurn's motorcycle hit the
    Shurn's speed in the residential neighborhood approached 70 mph
    at times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
    Police said they did not know why Shurn was fleeing from the
    officers, although his operator's license had been suspended and
    officers found a small amount of marijuana on him, state police Lt.
    Joseph Zangaro said.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Division 24


    What better way to protest "injustice" then by burning down your own neighborhoods?

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    FireCapt1951retired's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Between here and there


    It really doesn't surprise me in the least bit.

  4. #4
    IJHumberson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    In West Va.

    Angry WHY?

    For the life of me, I cannot fathom why these people are rioting because a man that was driving without a license and was BREAKING THE LAW (in many ways) chose to RUN FROM THE POLICE and ended up killing himself! Are these people really that blind that they cannot see that the police were just doing their job?!?!
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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