DETROIT (WWJ) — The long-awaited national premiere of “Detroit” the movie — depicting the violence and unrest of 1967 — has arrived.
The movie hits the big screen this weekend with its broader opening in nearly 3,000 theaters nationwide. The movie takes place in Detroit, showcasing how brutal the riots were in the city in 1967. The movie highlights the police brutality that took place after gunshots were heard nearby the Algiers Motel involving the Detroit Police Department, Michigan State Police and Michigan Army National Guard.
With the movie opening in theaters many will be learning about the violence of 1967 for the first time. With that Detroit Police Chief James Craig spoke on Friday on how the movie’s release offers everyone a chance to reflect on policing “then” and “now.”
“Yes it was a pattern and practice of abuse, excessive force but that does not reflect every member of the department,” Craig said. “And why was it important? Because it is important to understand your history, embrace it and recognize that we are truly a different police department.”
In the movie three unarmed men are killed and several others are brutally beaten as police broke regular procedure.
Craig said that it’s unfair to categorize every police officer who worked in the Detroit Police Department as a bad cop based on this movie.
“The department of 1967 is not the department of 2017,” Craig said. “It’s not even the police department of 1977 when I started 10 years after the rebellion.”
Craig added that 400 of the department’s officers saw the movie to get a better understanding and learn more about the 1967 riots.
“Detroit” has received strong reviews so far, and currently holds an 88 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.