YPSILANTI - Warrants for the arrest of two persons for smearing an urban renewal sign with paint were authorized today by City Attorney Kenneth Bronson.
The warrants were for James Dorsey. 917 Jefferson Ave., and Mrs. Henrietta Moore, 891 Jefferson Ave., and charged them with willfully destroying property not their own.
The authorization followed an anti-urban renewal demonstration yesterday afternoon, led by Mrs. Mattie Dorsey, long a foe of the renewal project.
City police said they received a call that Mrs. Dorsey and Mrs. Moore were leading a march down Harriet St. toward the urban renewal sign at S. Washington St. and Harriet.
Officers arrived at the location and waited for the paraders to appear. They estimated the number of persons with the group at four adults and 20 children.
While they were waiting, officers said, Dorsey drove up, approached the sign unseen by them and began smearing it with tar and later was helped by others.
They stopped him, officers said, and led him to the patrol car where he threw himself on the ground and said, "Load me in the car like they do in Mississippi.”
Officers at the scene, Capt. James L. Borst and Patrolmen Edward Smith and Robert Burns, said their uniforms were smeared with tar as they were preventing Dorsey from doing further damage to the signs.
After the officers confiscated a five-gallon can of tar and two brushes, Mrs. Dorsey led the marchers to the Urban Renewal Site Office, 811 Madison Blvd., where they staged a peaceful "sit-in” demonstration for over an hour.
Officers said another urban renewal sign, at First Ave. and Armstrong Dr., was also smeared with tar, but they had no witnesses as to who did it.
The two signs were a subject of controversy when they were first put up a few months ago, and were taken down at the order of Mayor John Calder, over the protests of Urban Renewal Director Theodore S. Daniel and former City Manager Richard D. Riley.
The signs, which are required in the federal urban renewal contract, were put back up Monday. Daniel said today that he had received informal authorization from councilmen to take the action.
Bronson said after authorizing the two warrants that more may be authorized after he confers further with police.
Mrs. Dorsey said today that her group had decided to smear the signs after hearing that they had been reinstalled. She said that some persons "wanted to shoot them out,”- but this was overruled.
She added that her group will continue to tar the signs "as long as they continue to put them up."
Ypsilanti City Council
Demonstrations & Protests
Ypsilanti Police Department
Crime & Criminals
Black American Community
Black American Women
Ann Arbor News
Mattie L. Dorsey
James L. Borst
Theodore S. Daniel
Richard D. Riley
James W. Dorsey
891 Jefferson Ave Ypsilanti
917 Jefferson Ave Ypsilanti
811 Madison Blvd Ypsilanti