Black motorist Malice Green was pulled over for a traffic stop on November 5, 1992. It is not clear what exactly happened, but Malice did not completely cooperate with police, and he ended up getting fatally beaten by a flashlight wielded in some manner by two white police officers.
Mayor Coleman Young quickly suspended the officers involved, and their superiors. The Los Angeles riots over the Rodney King verdict were still in recent memory, and it seemed prudent to avoid additional problems in the already tense city.
The city of Detroit tried to get the coroner, Kalil Jiraki, to testify that cocaine was involved in the incident. Jiraki refused, but not without consequences to his job. But he was subsequently awarded $2.5 million in a harrassment, defamation, and wrongful termination suit.
A topless bar owner pledged to donate $4,000 to the officers' defense fund, every time his establishments were raided.
Officers Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn were charged with murder and convicted by a mostly black jury.