Rep. John Conyers used the release of the new movie “Detroit” and the 50th anniversary of the riots in Detroit to renew his call to end racial profiling.
During an event with Kathryn Bigelow, the film’s director, on Thursday, Conyers, D-Mich., and others hosted a screening for members to discuss issues around racial profiling, the Detroit News reported.
“As we have seen from police-involved shooting incidents and Department of Justice investigations around the country, 1967 Detroit is being repeated every year still,” he said.
Conyers is portrayed in the movie by Laz Alonso. The Michigan Democrat used the occasion to push for legislation he has introduced each year since 2001 that would require retraining of police officers on how to end profiling.
Bigelow drew comparisons to the 1967 Algiers Motel incident where three black men died during a police interrogation and the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014.
“As I was listening to the story, I found myself thinking it didn’t feel like 50 years ago,” she said. “I thought we would benefit from seeing this story. It’s a very tragic one — an American tragedy — but in a perfect would it might stimulate a conversation.”
Conyers is the longest-serving current member of Congress. At the time of the unrest in Detroit — also referred to as the 12th Street Riot — Conyers took to the streets urging people to stop destruction.