This map represents events as documented by news outlets, primarily through the photography of Detroit Free Press photographer Tony Spina and Detroit News staff photographers. Most captions are the original wording recorded by journalists, and some contain notes from the photographers and their memories of the way events unfolded.

As in all the sections of this exhibit, ask yourself what parts of the story you don't see. Where might other perspectives be found? How can you know a source is valid? 

Click each dot to view an image of the events as they unfolded. For larger view, click the image in the bubble again. 

Detroit Commission on Community Relations Timeline

This department was focused on monitoring rumors happening in neighborhoods for the expressed purpose of avoid this type of outcome, so these are reports from commissioners in the field and from community members just calling in to report the things they were witnessing. This timeline represents their call log from day 1.

What types of information does this list gather? What might it miss? 


July 23rd


20 DCCR people circulating on 14th Street to spread the word to be calm. 

11:45 Crowds gathering around police with rifles on 14th and Clarimount

1:30pm Windows broken at Gladstone and Clarimount

2:00 looting at Atkinson and 12th, fire at 12th and Clairmount

2:20 “trouble” at 12th and expressway

2:43 Looting at 3500 West Warren, National Guard moving into Rouge Park

2:58 12th and Seward liquor store looted, rumor of boy killed nearby on 12th

3:01 “conditions were deteriorating in 12th and Blaine area”

3:20 gathering of people at Linwood and Carter

3:23 looting at 8788 Linwood (drug store)

3:30 fire at 12th and Clairmount

3:43 Linwood and Gladstone liquor store looted, 200 people moving down Linwood

4:00 pm community leaders meet at Grace Episcopal Church

4:01 Man stabbed by police bayonet at Hazelwood and 12th, reported laying in street

4:02 Linwood and Monterrey supermarket broken into

4:20 Linwood and Philadelphia, looting and fighting

4:21 Linwood and Gladstone looting, 12th and Davison looting (rumored)

4:24 Linwood and Lawton looting, large crowd looting and moving down the street

4:37 fire at 12th and Lee Place, another 4 blocks south of 12th and Clairmount

4:45 fire at Linwood and Philadelphia, firetrucks blocked

5:06 fires on Linwood threaten to spread to houses in Linwood-Pingree-Lawton area

5:10 Linwood-Euclid fire spreading, fire trucks being stoned

5:20 looting at Davison and Dexter, Dexter and Elmhurst, Grand Blvd. and 12th (drugstore)

5:33 Hillsboro and Grand River arrests (rumor), looting at Grand River and Joy. 3 major fires, Linwood block may all burn. Oakland and Goodwin looting. 

5:38 Looting liquor store at Seven Mile and Livernois, Linwood and Nebraska

5:45 Hutchens Pool opened since 2

5:55 2nd and West Grand rumor of “black power movement” gathering

6:00 14th north of Ferry Park – looting

6:10 Oakland and Clay, 500-1000 people milling around, looting. Also Oakland and Gladstone.

6:15 Looting of clothing stores on Washington Boulevard

6:20 DCCR to pull out of Virginia Park office, 12th street burning

6:36 Poe and Pallister looting

7:00 Navin Field baseball game ends

7:05 Fire east of Ford Hospital

7:06 Atkinson and 12th - fires

7:20 crowd gathered in front of Linwood Hotel

7:28 report gunshots at 14th and Grand River

7:28 fires at 12th and Atkinson

7:41 9010 12th on fire

7:45 Senator Coleman Young reports Dexter-Grand River-Hamilton full of people

7:49 Lawrence and Hamilton south of Webb – A&P broken into, crowd moving down street

7:55 Crowd at Livernois and Seven Mile

7:57 Linwood and Blaine has been on fire since 1 pm

8:00 Crowds looting Livernois and Seven Mile

8:23 3516 Grand - man had heart attack, police/fire department did not respond

8:28 Dexter and Davison – looting,

8:38 Shots heard at 12th and Warren

8:41 Woodward and Calvert looting, Woodrow Wilson and Cortland looting

8:50 Jeffries project area and expressway – looting

9:10 Dexter and Richton looting, Charles Furniture store looting; Oakman and Grand River - Sears store looting

9:15 8037 Dexter - residence being robbed

9:25 Dexter and Joy looting at Lindy’s, A&P, and Wrigley’s

9:29 Large fires reported seen from roof of Kiefer Hospital – North of the Fisher Building on the East Side, South of Kiefer west of Lodge Freeway

9:35 Selden and Gibson looting

9:35 Fire at Livernois and north of Expressway on east side of the street

9:47 Rumor – man shot in Jeffries Homes #1005

9:59 Fire at Livernois and Seven Mile

10:10 Looting at East Forest and Mt. Elliott

10:19 Inside Jeffries Homes okay, stores on perimeter wrecked, especially grocery store and drug store. Looting, no rioting.

10:24 Shots heard at Livernois and Seven Mile

10:25 Drugstore at Chrysler and Theodore looted and burned

10:28 2839 Chrysler Expressway party store trying to fight off looters

10:34 General Hospital Grand Blvd and Tireman, request more security

10:35 Kercheval and Pennsylvania store broken into

11:00 Gang of white youth at Livernois and Vernor, fears of retaliation squad

11:00 Looters at City-County building, caught

11:08 Brewster-Douglas area looting, 

11:46 Famous Furniture on Trumbull and Selden burning, fear it’ll spread to Jeffries Homes boiler house

11:59 Rumored man shot on Foster School playground