Probable Cause Found In Detroit Beating; Role Of Race Debated


The beating of Steve Utash, a Detroit white man, by a crowd of African-Americans until he lost consciousness and was left in critical condition “is only part of a broader, more complicated problem of crime and violence in a largely segregated metropolitan area,” says the New York Times. “It's just like everybody's mad here in Detroit,” said Corey Gilchrist, a community activist who called the incident “a triple loss” for the boy who had been injured by Utash, five young men charged in the beating; and Utash, 54, who remains in a hospital.

As the families of Utash and the accused waited tensely in court yesterday, a judge found probable cause to send to trial four of the men accused of assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm. A fifth person, who is 16, was also charged with ethnic intimidation — the only overt nod to a racial element to the case, in a city that is more than 80 percent black surrounded by suburbs that, in some cases, are mostly white. In the Detroit streets, people disagreed about the role of race in what had happened. Some said race was obviously a factor. Others said anger had merely bubbled up over the cries of a young child, and people lashed out

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