Narcotics cop Bob Ankony

Wednesday evening, March 8, 1972, I was assigned to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department Metropolitan Narcotics Squad, more commonly known as “Metro Squad.” We were in Romulus, at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, doing surveillance with the FBI. They had intel that Black Panthers were planning to hijack an aircraft or seize a terminal, that night or early the next day, and demand the release of other Panthers in custody at the time. I was 23 years old.

Accompanying us were US sky marshals and members of Detroit Police Intelligence. We frequently worked with the feds since we needed them for big-money narcotics buys and to do wiretaps. And they needed us for additional manpower to do surveillance. (We had more than a dozen undercover officers, half of them black, half white.) We were also an asset because we had a lot of experience with violent criminals—there’s nothing quite like making several drug raids a day for keeping your skills honed.

The Sheriff’s Department was in charge of patrolling the airport, so those units as well as our entire road patrol were on alert. We positioned undercover officers in both the North and South Terminals and had unmarked cars at all entrances and exits. An epidemic of armed hijackings was raging in the United States and all over the world as various radical groups took hostages for ransom and for the release of political prisoners.

It was a contentious time. President Nixon had recently ordered the heaviest bombings of North Vietnamese infiltration routes into South Vietnam. At home, meanwhile, a fight was under way over nationwide court-ordered busing to force school desegregation. With all this going on domestically and abroad, we were at the airport, armed to the teeth and ready for war. But hour after hour passed, and no Panthers showed. It was getting monotonous, but we had to hold our positions until all late-night flights arrived.

Lorenzo Hart, Jimmy Fowlkes, and I were patrolling the airport in one of our undercover narcotics cars. We usually worked together and got along great, socially as well as on the job. Jimmy and Lorenzo were black, and I was a dark-skinned Arab who could also pass for Latino or Italian. We could blend into a lot of situations, and this made us an effective team.

Company. F, 425th Inf. (Ranger)

I was exhausted after spending the morning in my college classes and pulling my National Guard weekend with Company F, 425th Infantry (Ranger). We were saddled up for two days to do a jump, but the winds stayed above the thirteen-knot cutoff. Also, I was in a committed relationship, and a girl I was once engaged to had come back into my life. So I had a lot on my plate.

I was cold after taking my turn walking outside both terminals. “Turn up the heat, Butch,” I said, climbing into the backseat. “Butch” was Lorenzo’s radio call sign, and Fowlkes’s was “Sundance.” I grabbed a slice of cold pizza as Fowlkes handed me a beer.

“Thanks! I froze my ass off out there!”

We were laughing but kept our eyes open for suspicious vehicles and people. The radio suddenly got busy, and we heard a lot of traffic between our Patrol and Investigation Division in western Wayne County, and headquarters in Detroit. Now in the wee hours of Thursday, March 9, it was nineteen degrees with a fifteen mile-an-hour wind.

Twenty-three miles east of us, by the corner of Dexter and West Chicago, in Detroit’s near north side, several black Wayne County sheriff deputies were facing something much more ominous than freezing weather. They were experiencing a cop’s worst nightmare.

Deputy Aaron Vincent

Three off-duty friends of ours had been playing poker at Aaron Vincent’s apartment on Rochester Street. The others were Henry “Hank” Henderson, David E. Davis, and Vincent’s next-door neighbor, Richard Sain, a hospital orderly. They all knew each other either from working the county jail or from attending Central High School a half mile east.

Deputy David E. Davis

Two other deputies arrived separately. Henry Duvall was walking to Vincent’s apartment, and James Jenkins had just finished his shift at the county jail in Detroit. Now in civilian dress, Jenkins parked his car by Vincent’s apartment, grabbed his holstered .38 Special revolver, and stepped out. (Wayne County deputies are required to be armed when off duty, and the weapon was department issued.) Jenkins secured the revolver under his winter coat. Vincent’s apartment was in the Tenth Precinct––the “Livernois,” where the 1967 riots started, and the highest-crime area in the city.

Parked on the street not far from Jenkins were three members of the Detroit Police Department’s STRESS unit, on another investigation. Detroit Police Commissioner John Nichols had formed STRESS (Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets) the year before. In one decade, from 1960 to 1970, Detroit’s population had dropped by 170,000 people, yet its murder rate nearly tripled, from 172 to 495. The city also experienced a sharp increase in street muggings, which corresponded with the rise of the drug culture. In 1970, Detroit, with a population of 1.5 million, had 22,000 robberies, 69 of which involved the murder of the robbery victim.

Concealed-carry permits were not commonly issued, and the STRESS unit, unaware that Jenkins was a cop, watched him head toward Vincent’s apartment at 3210 Rochester. Their unit was dramatically reducing robberies and other crimes throughout Detroit by posing as vulnerable decoys, often as women or old men. It was a very dangerous assignment. But STRESS was highly controversial among radical white students at Wayne State University in Detroit, and among many in the black community, who argued that too often the suspects getting shot were unarmed blacks.[1] Yet many black clergy and community leaders supported STRESS because they were making the streets dramatically safer, since the criminals didn’t know if the old lady or crippled man they were about to mug was actually an armed undercover cop with good aim.

Ronald Martin, James Harris, and Virgil Starkey were three black STRESS officers. They had seen Jenkins put the gun under his coat, and so they ran after him through the cold, dimly lit street. But before they could catch up to him, they saw him enter Vincent’s second-floor apartment.

Jenkins stepped inside to the sound of loud conversation and laughter from Duvall and the others seated at the kitchen table. The room was thick with cigarette smoke, and Jenkins closed the screen but left the door slightly ajar.

Detroit Police Department

Believing that armed criminal activity was taking place, STRESS Officers Martin and Harris climbed the stairway leading to Vincent’s apartment while Officer Starkey kept lookout from below. Officer Martin opened the screen door, shoved his badge in, and pointed his pistol inside as Harris stood beside him, hollering “Police Officers!”

9mm Browning Hi-Power

It’s unclear what happened next, but Martin and Harris said they were suddenly shot at, so they returned fire with their 9mm Browning Hi-Power pistols. The Hi-Power is a semiautomatic that holds thirteen rounds in the magazine plus one in the chamber. Because of its large-capacity magazine and faster firing and reloading than is possible with a revolver, this weapon was a favorite with “big city” plainclothes cops working high-crime areas.

According to the deputies sitting at Vincent’s kitchen table, they didn’t fire first. They heard derogatory shouts, then shots, and watched Duvall fall to the floor. Thinking the men at the door were robbers, Jenkins fired three rounds from his six-shot revolver at the two STRESS officers as they retreated back onto the balcony. Shocked by the suddenness of it all, Duvall stayed low on the kitchen floor with a gunshot wound to his leg as Jenkins and the other deputies scattered to different areas of the apartment, seeking cover and concealment.

Officer Starkey, believing that one of his partners had been shot, charged up the stairs, and the three STRESS officers unleashed a volley of shots toward the back of the apartment. Neighbors, hearing the all-too-familiar sound of gunfire, sought cover.

The STRESS team shouted, identifying themselves as police officers, to which the deputies yelled out, “We’re police, too! We’re deputies!” But more and more shots were fired, and at 12:10 a.m., STRESS made frantic radio calls about “barricaded gunmen” and “officers in trouble.”

When an officer-in-trouble call goes out, every second counts, so all the cops in the vicinity head to the area. Those calls brought dozens of uniformed and plainclothes officers from surrounding precincts, and freeway patrol cars, with lights blazing and sirens wailing.

Something less obvious was also happening. When an officer believes that fellow cops are in mortal danger, this triggers the brain to release adrenaline and endorphins, giving the responding officer a massive rush of both energy and potent pain killers. The heart beats faster, and the lungs suck in oxygen more deeply as blood vessels closer to the surface of the body constrict the inner ones dilate. These automatic functions are vital to enriching blood, minimizing blood loss, and rushing blood to muscles. Like soldiers in combat, responding officers arrive ready to fight, without a clear picture of where all the good guys are, how many bad guys there are, or who is positioned where. It’s pandemonium, and the only certainty is that your brothers are in trouble. The arriving officers move into the danger to best position themselves to join the battle.

The STRESS officers held their ground on the balcony as Car 10-22 from the Tenth Precinct, manned by black officer David Marshall and white officer Dennis Shiemke, arrived on the scene. Armed with .357 Magnum revolvers and a 12-gauge riot shotgun, they raced up the balcony to back up the STRESS officers as other responding officers surrounded the building.

The scores of blue emergency lights flashing from patrol vehicles reflected off apartment windows as police radio traffic and shouts resounded through the neighborhood.

After a couple of minutes, the shooting subsided with shouts of “Detroit Police! Come on out!”

Jenkins and other men in the bedroom repeated their pleas, “We’re Wayne County deputies!”

“Show some ID, you fuckers!”

The deputies answered by throwing out badges and their guns.

“Okay,” someone shouted. “Then come on out with your hands up!”

More hollering followed, and Jenkins stepped out of the bedroom and yelled, “We’re police! I’m coming out! I have no gun! I’ve got my badge in my hands, and my hands up!”

But the moment he became visible to the STRESS officers standing outside on the balcony, Jenkins was dropped with a single shot to the temple. Apparently, the STRESS officers didn’t see the badge or else thought it was a gun.

Deputy Henry Henderson

The three STRESS officers regularly dealt with armed and dangerous criminals. They stormed inside the small one-bedroom apartment, with Officers Marshall and Shiemke following, systematically taking out any perceived threats. Henderson, standing with his arms up and his back against the bathroom wall, was shot five times by Martin. As he fell to the floor, screams were heard from the deputies, and Shiemke shot Henderson once in the buttocks. The bullet traveled upward and exited from his torso. Jenkins was shot again through his arms and abdomen as he lay by the bedroom door. And Vincent, in the bedroom, received a grazing bullet wound to the head.

The smell of detonated gunpowder permeated every room, and STRESS quickly secured the apartment. All the deputies were lying handcuffed on the kitchen floor or in back, critically wounded or dead. For whatever reason, the STRESS officers started kicking and beating the deputies with their pistols and heavy four-cell flashlights, yelling, “We’re going to kill you motherfuckers!”

Vincent, lying facedown on the floor with his arms cuffed behind him and blood pouring from the bullet wound to his head, was struck in the head with a shotgun butt by one of the uniformed cops.

“Why are you doing this?” the deputies pleaded. “We’re cops!”

No command officers were present, and the situation was out of control as STRESS and the two uniformed officers ignored the deputies’ pleas and also their badges in plain view on the floor.

The New-Palladium, Thursday, March 9, 1972

At this point, another uniform and three plainclothes officers charged into the apartment. One of the officers was Richard Herold, a black crew chief of a “Big Four” cruiser from the Tenth Precinct. He was a former navy seaman and a Wayne State University criminal justice graduate.[2] The Big Four were tough street cops who drove black four-door sedans manned by a uniformed driver and three men dressed in suits and ties. Each precinct had one. They handled heavy crimes such as homicide and armed robbery and dealt with street gangs. They kept a shotgun in front and a .45-caliber Thompson submachine gun in the trunk, loaded with a thirty-round magazine of tracers. Herold had a commanding presence, especially when carrying the Thompson.

Duvall had worked undercover for our department and was lying on the kitchen floor with blood rushing from the bullet hole in his thigh. One of the uniformed cops knelt beside him, holding the muzzle of his revolver at Duvall’s head with the hammer cocked, threatening to shoot.

Duvall saw Herold run in and cried, “Richard! Richard, we’re cops! I’m Duvall! You know me from the Argyle bar!” (The Argyle was a west side tavern frequented by cops.)

Recognizing Duvall, Herold shouted to the officers, “Stop this fuckin’ shit! They’re cops!”

“I don’t give a fuck!” the uniformed officer next to Duvall yelled.

“He’s a policeman!” Herold repeated.

“How the hell do I know?” the uniformed cop asked.

.45-caliber Model 1928A1 Thompson Submachine Gun 

Placing the muzzle of his Thompson to the cop’s head, Herold shouted, “You know now because I’m telling you! Now, get the fuck away from him!” he yelled, shoving the cop with his foot.

Herold and his crew were patrolmen just like all the other cops in the apartment, but their actions caused the mayhem to end as suddenly as it began. There was no doubt among the captive deputies that if Herold hadn’t arrived, the STRESS officers were going to murder everyone.

Herold carried Duvall out of the apartment while some cops stood around refusing to help. The shooters gathered in a corner to get their stories together.

Wayne County Sheriff Department

Uniformed officers in patrol cars transported the deputies to Detroit General Hospital. Jenkins was critically wounded with gunshots to his head, arms, and abdomen.[3] Duvall was treated for a leg wound, and Vincent for the grazing head wound. Davis and Sain had multiple bruises from the beatings, as did Vincent. At 1:05 a.m., Henry Henderson, 33, was pronounced dead of multiple gunshot wounds.

Detroit Free Press, Friday, March 10, 1972

Later that morning, Wayne County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Warren Woods and Officer Bobby Hawkins went to the apartment at 3210 Rochester Street. They found furniture toppled, cards and shattered liquor bottles on the kitchen floor, blood spattered on walls, and pools of blood on floors and carpeting. The large plate-glass windows outside were shattered by gunshots, and the roof overhang had bullet holes. There were also forty-four bullet holes in the apartment. The bathroom toilet was shot off its base, and the bathtub was riddled with holes. There was no question that Henderson had been shot as he stood against the wall just outside the bathroom. Jenkins was shot outside the bedroom door, and Duvall was shot at the kitchen table.

Detroit Free Press, Wednesday, March 15, 1972

Five days later, on Tuesday, March 14, I went to the Girrbach-Krasun Funeral Home, on West Jefferson in River Rouge, with all the members of Metro Squad, to pay our respects to Deputy Henry Henderson. Most of our squad’s leaders were Detroit Police officers, and we had excellent rapport with DPD. Hundreds of uniformed officers and dozens of scout cars were there. Most were from our (Wayne County Sheriff’s) department and DPD, but there were also officers from the Michigan State Police and other counties and cities, including the Windsor, Ontario, PD, in Canada.

It’s always heartbreaking to see a dead cop surrounded by a grieving family, but this tragedy was even more horrible because Henry died at the hands of fellow cops. After the service, we followed the motorcade to Woodmere Cemetery in southwest Detroit, just a few blocks from my home, where Deputy Henry “Hank” Henderson was buried.

"Mama Ankony"

From there, Lorenzo Hart, Jimmy Fowlkes, Al Wallace, and I stopped at my mom’s house on Woodmere. Because we often worked Detroit, her house was well located, and we stopped there frequently. The black deputies called her “Mama Ankony.” She loved that, and she enjoyed having us stop by, because it made her feel safe. My mom was a superb cook, and luckily, she had just finished making a pot of stuffed zucchini on the stove. She usually enjoyed hearing our stories, but this time we didn’t talk much.

Sheriff William Lucas

The shooting, quickly dubbed the “Rochester Street Massacre,” prompted more public outcry than ever, seeking to ban STRESS. Detroit Police Commissioner John Nichols and Wayne County Sheriff William Lucas, a former FBI agent and New York City undercover cop, held news conferences to calm the public’s concerns, saying it was just a “tragic case of mistaken identity.”[4] Detroit Mayor Roman Gribbs, a former Wayne County sheriff, concurred that it was a “serious tragedy of mistaken identity” and refused to disband the unit, reminding the public that STRESS was averaging 250 felony arrests per month. And DPD District Inspector James Bannon added, “STRESS is a viable, active unit of the police department and we have no intentions of retreating.”

Commissioner John Nichols

Separate investigations were conducted by DPD Internal Affairs and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department Internal Security Bureau. Their findings were not consistent with the mayor’s, police commissioner’s, or sheriff’s initial account. Armed with that information, Wayne County Prosecutor William Cahalan charged STRESS officers Ronald Martin, 37, James Harris, 25, and Virgil Starkey, 24, with murder, attempted murder, felonious assault, and committing a felony with a firearm––a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence on top of the felony life murder sentence. Cahalan did not charge Officers Marshall and Shiemke from the Tenth Precinct, because he believed they were acting on reliable information from the radio calls and from the STRESS officers on the scene, telling them that they were dealing with dangerous criminals.

Mayor Roman Gribbs

On Friday, March 24, Martin, Harris, and Starkey were arraigned in Detroit before Recorder’s Court Judge Frank Shemanske and remanded to the Wayne County Jail under two thousand dollars’ bond. Each bond was promptly posted by family and police friends, who worried about violence against them, both from fellow prisoners and from the deputies who would be guarding them.

The trial took place in Judge William Giovan’s courtroom at Recorder’s Court, just across the street from Detroit General Hospital and Detroit Police Headquarters, and right next door to the Wayne County Jail. Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Connor and defense attorneys Norman Lippitt and George Lee argued the case. To ease tensions between DPD and our department, Sheriff Lucas prohibited any off-duty deputies from attending the trial. He did not want things to degenerate into one law enforcement agency against another. Detroit Police Commissioner John Nichols did not reciprocate.[5]

With credible testimony from the STRESS officers and our deputies, each side saying the others shot first, the trial was difficult. There was also a contradictory account given initially by Duvall, at Detroit General Hospital, to DPD Homicide Detective Sgt. Michael Babiuk and Wayne County Sheriff Sgt. Raymond McGee. Duvall said Jenkins had fired first when he saw the arm with the handgun protrude through the apartment doorway.[6]

Martin, who was the senior STRESS officer and had done most of the shooting, said, “I believed a robbery was going on inside the apartment. I had to make a split-second judgment that’s taken us [the court] three months to decide. If faced with the same problem, I’d do exactly what I did that night, because Jenkins and Henderson were armed when I shot them.”

Richard Herold, the DPD Big Four crew chief, testified, “They [the Detroit officers] acted like something was funny. It was unbelievable. They didn’t give a damn, even though there were sheriff’s IDs and badges all over the floor.”

In his closing remarks, Connor said, “It doesn’t matter who fired first, because the STRESS officers illegally entered the apartment without probable cause and started the incident.” Pointing then at Martin, Harris, and Starkey, he said, “These three men are trained killers. When you create a special force, be it Army Rangers or STRESS, and you tell an officer he’s special and he’s supposed to stop robberies, and you put him out there with his .357 Magnum, he tends to believe he’s a law unto himself.”

Lippitt responded, “Martin, Harris, and Starkey would have been negligent if they had not followed to investigate a man carrying a gun at midnight in the crime-ridden Tenth Precinct.” He then added to the jurors, “Don’t you dare bring in a split verdict. Don’t you dare find one of these men guilty and two not guilty.”

The next day, Thursday, August 10, 1972, I worked with Gerald Scotti and Michael Geldmacher from our squad, and Ron Garibaldi’s crew from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (the DEA’s predecessor). We raided a house on Ohio and Curtis in Detroit’s north side, where we confiscated heroin, weapons, and cash and arrested three men. On that same day, after only one hour of deliberation, jury foreman Tony Hendrix, 25, gave the unanimous decision. The jury of ten whites and two blacks (eleven women and one man) acquitted Officers Martin, Harris, and Starkey of all charges, believing, as the mayor, police commissioner, and sheriff had already stated, that it was a horrible case of mistaken identity and that the STRESS officers had acted with probable cause to effect what they believed was a lawful arrest.[7]

The next day, Wayne County Prosecutor William Cahalan stood alongside Michael Connor and said, “It was up to the jury to determine whether or not the STRESS officers acted reasonably under the circumstances. No new facts were uncovered during the trial which would lead me to issue new warrants.”

That was it. The trial was over, other than civil lawsuits and the fact that STRESS had become anathema among many citizens, including some in law enforcement.

That December, six STRESS officers were shot in two separate ambushes by three black militants wielding a shotgun and sawed-off .30-caliber M1 carbines.[8] One white STRESS officer, Robert Bradford, 25, was murdered on Wednesday, December 27, with multiple shots to the head as he lay critically wounded with his partner, Robert Dooley, 28, on the sidewalk. I was in the area and responded to the “Officers down!” radio call, but the killers, Mark Bethune, 21, John Percy Boyd, 23, and Hayward Brown, 18, got away in the frantic, unfocused police search. The “mad-dog killers” fled Michigan and were pursued in one of the largest police manhunts in US history.[9]

Mayor Coleman Young

The next year, a mayoral election took place in Detroit after Mayor Roman Gribbs declined to seek office again.[10] Many whites saw Police Commissioner John Nichols as the “law-and-order man.”[11] Opposing him was Coleman Young, a black former Tuskegee airman, civil rights activist, and state senator whose campaign promise was “It’s time for a change.” Detroit was nearly half African American yet was policed mainly by whites. The Rochester Street Massacre was fresh on citizens’ minds and helped tip the scale. Coleman Young narrowly won the election, and in 1974, one of his first acts was to disband STRESS. He was Detroit’s first black mayor and served for twenty years, until 1994.


My deepest thanks go out to retired Wayne County Sheriff Sgt. Bobby Hawkins for his help in this research, for providing newspaper articles, and for generously contributing his personal knowledge of the Rochester Street investigation. Thanks also to Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon for providing photos. And to my wife, Cathy, the unseen editor of all my work; and my editor, Michael J. Carr, for tidying up.

* Having served in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and knowing the deputies involved, I found this story especially difficult to write. As a Detroit resident and cop at the time, I saw the sacrifices made by STRESS and members of our department, who fought some of the city’s toughest, most dangerous criminals. As with any controversial subject, there are many conflicting accounts of this event. I made every effort to capture the different perspectives of all involved.


[1] During its three-year existence, STRESS killed twenty-two suspected criminals and wounded dozens of others. One white STRESS officer, Raymond Peterson, 40, was involved in twelve shootings, resulting in the deaths of five people. Peterson was highly decorated, but the last person he killed, Robert Hoyt, 24, a black man, took place during a traffic stop. Hoyt was unarmed, so Peterson planted a knife beside him. But DPD evidence technicians found hairs in the knife—hairs that came from Peterson’s cat. Peterson was fired and charged with second-degree murder but was acquitted when his attorney successfully convinced the jury that he was suffering from PTSD. He was awarded two years’ back pay and given a disability retirement.

[2] In the fall of 1972, Officer Richard Herold––the Tenth Precinct Big Four crew chief who saved Duvall and the other four from being killed––was charged by the RCMP in Toronto, Ontario (Canada), for trafficking cocaine. Herold was fired but was eventually acquitted of that charge and testified against DPD Deputy Chief George Bennett. Bennett was black, and Herold accused Bennett of using heavy-handed methods in trying to solicit his help to testify against a number of officers, most of them white, at the Tenth Precinct. Bennett knew that the Precinct Narcotics Unit and other well-positioned officers at the precinct were taking bribes from major heroin dealers, then seizing narcotics and cash from rival dealers and redistributing it back to the favored drug dealers. It became known as the “Tenth Precinct Conspiracy,” and Bennett’s methods were deemed necessary to weed out rotten apples. Nine officers were charged, and three were convicted of conspiracy to sell narcotics and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Among those convicted was Officer Richard Herold, 33, a six-year veteran. He was sentenced to three to five years in Jackson State Prison. Research for this story uncovered a seemingly bottomless pit of information about DPD corruption, ranging from appalling to hilarious. Incidentally, Herold was married with kids and was in Toronto taking a girlfriend for an abortion when the RCMP busted him. His whereabouts today are unknown. Cops who knew him think he is either dead or in witness protection.

[3] Deputy James Jenkins, 29, never returned to work, because of his wounds and the loss of sight in one eye. In Wayne County Probate Court, he received a one-million-dollar settlement from Detroit, and his wife received 150,000 dollars for loss of companionship and for caregiving.

[4] Cops shooting cops, referred to as “blue on blue,” happens rarely. But “friendly fire” in the military occurs far more frequently. (See “Four Second-Floor Narcotics Stories,” endnote 12).

[5] Our department had about twelve hundred sworn officers, and DPD had four thousand.

[6] In January 1987, Deputy Henry Duvall, a twenty-year veteran of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, was convicted of two counts of embezzling one thousand dollars in bail money that he received on two separate occasions while working the front desk at the county jail.

[7] In 1972, Michigan State Law stipulated: “In effecting a lawful arrest for a felony, a peace officer may use that degree of force reasonably necessary to effect that arrest including deadly force. A peace officer may use deadly force in defense of his own life, in defense of another, or in pursuit of a fleeing felon.”

[8] The four STRESS officers shot in the first ambush, on Monday, December 4, 1972, were Richard Grapp, 41, William Price, 32, Eugene Fuller, 24, and Robert Rosenow, 23.The officers stopped the trio driving a Volkswagen near the University of Detroit, but the gunmen leaped out first, firing at the officers as the officers struggled to get out of their vehicle. Each officer was hit multiple times but survived.

Michael Geldmacher and me horsing around in our Narcotics Bureau

[9] On Tuesday, January 2, 1973, our squad, with STRESS, made two raids in Detroit in search of the killers, based on information from Officer Michael Geldmacher from our unit. The first raid was on Mendota, south of Six Mile Road, where we confiscated one “Detroit Police Department”‑marked .38 Special revolver and several long arms. The second raid was an apartment on 14th Street and Magnolia, where we arrested two more people wanted on warrants but had no luck finding the cop killers. (For more on their fate, see

[10] Following Mayor Gribbs’s time in office, the US Drug Enforcement Agency launched a federal grand jury investigation into widespread narcotics payoffs to top DPD officials. On Wednesday morning, September 30, 1976, Deputy Chief Reginald Harvel, 47, whose name was allegedly on the payoff list, was found dead by his wife in the upstairs bathroom of their Detroit home. Harvel, a twenty-one-year police veteran, was shot twice in the chest with his .38-caliber police revolver. Gunshot marks were found on his pajama top, and the revolver was found near his body. An autopsy was conducted, but apparently no paraffin tests were performed to determine if gunshot residue was on Harvel’s hands. Despite Harvel’s having been shot twice in the chest, Wayne County Medical Examiner Werner Spitz, MD, stated, “There’s absolutely no doubt that it was a suicide.” Harvel is remembered in Detroit law enforcement circles as the only man who committed suicide twice.

[11] John Nichols was eventually elected sheriff of Oakland County, just north of Detroit.