Revisiting the riots of 2011 through previously unseen footage and accounts from all those involved in the dramatic and destructive events.
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Riots: In Their Own Words - Hough riots - Netflix
The Hough riots were riots in the predominantly African-American community of Hough (pronounced “Huff”) in Cleveland, Ohio, which took place from July 18 to July 23, 1966. During the riots, four African Americans were killed and 50 people were injured. There were 275 arrests and numerous incidents of arson and firebombings. City officials at first blamed black nationalist and communist organizations for the riots. But historians generally dismiss these claims today, arguing that the cause of the Hough Riots were primarily poverty and racism. The riots caused rapid population loss and economic decline in the area, which lasted at least five decades after the riots.
The Riots: In Their Own Words - July 21 - Netflix
During the day on July 21, Hough was calm, with no incidents of gunfire, vandalism, or arson reported. Nine people arrested during the previous three days of rioting were charged with felonies, the first felony charges to be made during the event. Many Cleveland-area officials and reporters spent much of July 21 blaming black nationalists and outsiders for fomenting and sustaining the riots. Doris O'Donnell, a reporter with The Plain Dealer, wrote that “A 'hate whitey' revolution, plotted and predicted for many months” by “a small band of extremists” was the real cause of the riots, and said the riots were implemented “as if by a diversionary enemy”. She reported that the police, city hall, and unnamed federal agencies had extensive evidence that “points to certain groups and certain individuals as the suspected plotters” behind the riots. O'Donnell reported that black activists told her that certain businesses had been told to place a sign in the windows or on their front doors as a “signal not to fire bomb the place”, and that agitators had worked up lists (one for businesses to be firebombed, one for business to be protected). Quoting unnamed black residents of Hough, she said that unnamed organizations had created a “ready-made army”, which had drilled for months in use of firearms, burn-and-run tactics, and the manufacture and use of firebombs. O'Donnell placed the blame for the riots on welfare, which encouraged women to have large numbers of illegitimate children and allowed unemployed husbands to “sponge” off their welfare-supported wives. Police Chief Wagner declared that he saw a pattern in the making of false alarms which “indicate there was some form of organization behind them”, and The Plain Dealer said unnamed police officers believed they saw a pattern in the false reports of arson or gunfire. Cleveland City Council President James V. Stanton said, “I definitely feel this was organized”, and Bertram E. Gardner, executive director of the Cleveland Community Relations Board, claimed, “There's a fringe element in the streets, and they're fighting for control of the streets. They've got to be removed.” Gardner demanded that the police significantly step up the numbers of arrests. Representative Michael A. Feighan, a Democrat who represented Cleveland's west side, said that he had evidence that the rioters “have had training in firearms and Molotov cocktails”, and pledged to have the House Judiciary Committee hold hearings into the cause of the riots. As dusk approached on July 21, police and Guardsmen maintained the expanded patrol zone. About 400 Cleveland police officers patrolled with the Guard, although no police patrolled in the Hough neighborhood itself. Hough was so quiet during the night that only a handful of National Guardsmen were needed there. The National Guard did, however, close Hough Avenue between E. 79th and E. 93rd Streets. Most police patrolled around the perimeter of the expanded patrol zone, where most of the reports of gunfire, vandalism, and arson occurred during the night of July 21. The first indication of trouble occurred at about 7:45 PM, when a large number of small fires were set and false reports of fire were made. The only large fire of the evening occurred when a vacant apartment building just south of E. 79th Street and Hough Avenue burned to the ground. Later in the evening, Cleveland Police shot a mother, three of her young children, and her teenaged nephew near E. 107th Street and Cedar Avenue near the scene of a five-alarm fire. During the attack on the mother's car, a National Guardsman was hit in the leg by a ricocheting police bullet. Later, four policemen were injured when two police vehicles collided at the intersection of E. 105th Street and Chester Avenue. Most of the evening's disturbances were minor, as no widespread rioting occurred. Minor incidents of vandalism were reported, and the National Guard easily dispersed any small groups which formed in the Hough area. Some police officers claimed to have seen two or three cars with out-of-state license plates (each vehicle carrying several African American men), but these were unsubstantiated claims. The only substantiated incident occurred when police found two automobiles full of white youths inside the patrol zone, and ordered them to leave. By dawn on July 22, the Cleveland Fire Department had responded to 115 fires (52 started by firebombs), and just 12 false alarms. One firefighter was allegedly shot at. A total of 30 individuals had been injured during the four nights of rioting. One person was arrested for arson and 11 were arrested for carrying firebombs on the night of July 21–22, bringing the total number of individuals arrested (regardless of charge) to 150.
The Riots: In Their Own Words - References - Netflix