Murder at the Algiers Motel

McGuire, Danielle L.

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/07/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21616

The following account is abridged from an anthology, Detroit 1967, just published by Wayne State Press. McGuire has uncovered material that hadn't previously come to light.



According to one witness, it was a "night of horror and murder." Just past midnight, police and soldiers tore through the motel's tattered halls and rundown rooms with shotguns and rifles. They ransacked closets and drawers, turned over beds and tables, shot into walls and chairs, and brutalized motel guests in a desperate and vicious effort to find the "sniper."

At some point during this initial raid, David Senak and Patrolman Robert Paille encountered Fred Temple, a teen on the phone with his girlfriend. Senak and Paille barged into the room, startling Temple, who dropped the phone. Senak and Paille fired "almost simultaneously" at Temple, who crumpled to the ground in a pool of blood.

Failing to find any weapons, Patrolman Senak ordered all the guests against the wall in the first floor lobby. One of the young Black men at the hotel that night, 17-year old Carl Cooper, rushed down the stairs and came face to face with a phalanx of heavily armed police and Guardsmen.

A witness heard Cooper say "Man, take me to jail - I don't have any weapon" just before hearing the gunshot that tore through his chest.
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