Friday, November 03, 2006

Malice Green Memorial Site Re-dedication on Sunday, November 5


CONTACT: Ron Scott
313.587.6466, OR
Edna White

Event: Community Gathers for Malice Green Anniversary.
Internationally Acclaimed Artist Bennie White
Ethiopia Israel Plans to restore defaced Malice
Green portrait.
NEWS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD Sunday, November 5, 2006
AT 2:30 P.M. at the Site of the Police Murder of
Malice Green Located at West Warren and 23rd Street,
one block west of the I-96 Freeway

On November 5, 2006 at 3:00 p.m., Detroiters will gather at the Malice Green Memorial site located on West Warren at 23rd Street to remember the brutal act committed by Detroit Police Officers Walter Budzyn and Larry Nevers which caused the death of Malice Green. The case gained international notoriety when the late Mayor Coleman A. Young suspended the two officers who were later convicted and incarcerated for their part in the death of Greene. Internationally acclaimed artist Bennie White Ethiopia Israel, who initially painted the portrait of Green which sits at the base of the building where Green was bludgeoned, will also repaint a section of the mural. The mural had been recently defaced with the letters, “KKK.”

Many of those who will be in attendance for this historic gathering will be part of groups and individuals who helped to mobilize the community in an effort to have Budzyn and Nevers prosecuted in 1992.

“It is important that we never, ever forget the atrocities which happened at this site,” said Edna White, one of the event’s planners. Lawrence X, a member of Project B.A.I.T. (Black Awareness in Television), who also participated in the planning, emphasized the need to bring all sectors of the community together to “continue the struggle that was launched here.”

Artists from throughout the area will gather prior to the news conference and community gathering to create an art space at the memorial. Artists should contact Edna White at 313.368.4693 to participate.

The public is encouraged to attend.


Black motorist Malice Green was pulled over for a traffic stop on November 5, 1992. It is not clear what exactly happened, but Malice did not completely cooperate with police, and he ended up getting fatally beaten by a flashlight wielded in some manner by two white police officers.

Mayor Coleman Young quickly suspended the officers involved, and their superiors. The Los Angeles riots over the Rodney King verdict were still in recent memory, and it seemed prudent to avoid additional problems in the already tense city.

The city of Detroit tried to get the coroner, Kalil Jiraki, to testify that cocaine was involved in the incident. Jiraki refused, but not without consequences to his job. But he was subsequently awarded $2.5 million in a harrassment, defamation, and wrongful termination suit.

A topless bar owner pledged to donate $4,000 to the officers' defense fund, every time his establishments were raided.

Officers Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn were charged with murder and convicted by a mostly black jury.

Taken From CelebrityMorgue
Malice Green: On November 5, 1992, Malice Green was questioned by Detroit police officers Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn, who suspected Green of possessing drugs, as he sat in a parked car. Green allegedly failed to comply with the officers' order to drop something in his hand (which, although disputed, may have been drugs). Budzyn reportedly hit Green's fist and wrestled with him in the front seat of the car. Nevers allegedly hit Green in the head repeatedly with his flashlight during the incident. Another officer placed him on the ground and allegedly kicked him. An Emergency Medical Service (EMS) worker arrived on the scene and sent a computer message to his superiors asking, "[W]hat should I do, if I witness police brutality/murder?" Other officers and a supervisor arrived but did not intervene to stop the beating. Green had a seizure and died en route to the hospital. After the beating, officers reportedly washed blood from their hands with peroxide and wiped blood from their flashlights and Green's car. Then-Police Chief Stanley Knox quickly labeled Green's death a murder and dismissed seven officers who were involved in the incident because of their actions or inaction.

Officer Nevers had reportedly been the subject of twenty-five citizen complaints, and Officer Budzyn was the subject of nineteen; none was substantiatedby investigators. Nevers was also reportedly the subject of three lawsuits the city settled with plaintiffs. In one lawsuit, the city settled for $275,000 in the shooting of a robbery suspect. Green's family was awarded $5.25 million in a civil lawsuit.

In 1993, Nevers and Budzyn were convicted of second-degree murder in the Green case and began serving their sentences at a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas; Nevers received a twelve- to twenty-five-year sentence, and Budzyn was sentenced to eight to eighteen years in prison. Nevers and Budzyn appealed their convictions, alleging jury tainting, jury bias, erroneous jury instruction, insufficient evidence, and improper denial of a change of venue to lessen pre-trial media impact. In July 1997, the Michigan Supreme Court overturned Budzyn's conviction, finding that the jury had been tainted but that only Budzyn's conviction was affected because the evidence against him was not as compelling as the evidence against Nevers. Budzyn was subsequently freed on bond. Then, in December 1997, Nevers was released from prison. Prosecutors appealed the decision by a federal judge to overturn Nevers' conviction.

In August, the Wayne County prosecutor announced plans to retry Budzyn. In April 1998, Budzyn was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the Green case and sentenced to four to fifteen years in prison. It appeared that he would not serve additional time in prison because of time already served.

Taken From Human Rights Watch Report

1 comment:

Cynical Synapse said...

Actually, both Nevers and Budzyn ended up with convictions from this case after all the appeals were settled. While we don't know for sure what happened that night, the fact remains the officers beat Malice Green and he died in police custody.

Regardless of your views on this case, the point of the memorial site is authorities of the government don't have the right to abuse their offices nor to use excessive force. Mr. Green's background doesn't change the rights and expectations of due process we should all be entitled. That should be a point we can all agree on.

Unfortunately, overzealous police brutality occurs all too frequently.