A small army of well-armed police and a steady, soaking rain helped restore peace to a pocket of Michigan’s poorest city scarred by two nights of rioting, the Detroit News reports. Well into the night, more than 250 police officers deployed across the city in a show of force officials hoped would quell disturbances touched off by the death of a motorcyclist during a police chase early Monday. Police lined the street, armed with batons and assault rifles.
Early today, the neighborhood of low-slung homes and overgrown lots where the violence had erupted was quiet. City officials acknowledge that it will take more than a phalanx of police to calm the anger, joblessness and racial tension that they said helped fuel the riots.
Benton Harbor has struggled for decades with a crush of poverty, joblessness, crime and racial tension. Its residents, 92 percent of whom are black, have long looked in frustration at their poverty, poor schools and high unemployment compared with neighboring St. Joseph, which is 90 percent white.