Watch: Interview with Marquette Frye
Common Sense American History
Read: On August 11, 1965, African-American Marquette Frye was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. When police also impounded and tried to tow his car, a fight and then a riot of violence, burning, and looting broke out, lasting six days. Thirty-four people were killed, over a thousand injured, and $40 million of property ($309 million in 2016 dollars) was destroyed or looted.
When asked to comment, Martin Luther King, Jr. replied that “We made it very clear in the very beginning … that we believe absolutely in law and order and we abhor violence and that we are as distressed about the riot that took place in this community as any white citizen in the community.”
Are Martin Luther King Jr.’s comments still relevant today, when tension between citizens and police lead to violence?