Dec 7, 2015
Detroit community activist Ron Scott has died. Scott had been active in the black movement around many issues since the early 1960s. Since the ‘70s, he was best known for his fight against police brutality, including opposing the Detroit Police Department’s hated STRESS unit. He was a founding member of the Detroit chapter of the Black Panther Party. In 1996, he helped form the Coalition Against Police Brutality.
Scott was unlike those who, when addressing police brutality, restrict themselves to taking up cases of unimpeachably “respectable” middle-class people with clean arrest records. He defended all people, including those in the streets. He took the stance that it didn’t matter who the people were, whether they had a previous police record or tried to defend themselves against the cops – those the police and the media usually try to paint as the cause of their own victimization at the hands of the police.
Scott, for example, spoke up for the family of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones, killed when police busted down the door of her grandmother’s home looking for her father, a suspect in a nearby shooting, and started blasting. He spoke up for Renisha McBride, a young black woman shot by a white homeowner in Dearborn Heights when she knocked on his door late at night looking for help. She had been hurt in an accident, and the media blamed her because she’d been drinking earlier that evening.
The efforts of Scott and others to oppose police brutality have made prosecutors in and around Detroit, like Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, more likely to indict killer cops than those in many other areas around the country.
The Detroit area has lost a real fighter with the death of Ron Scott.