EPISODE ONE

Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets

 Crime lab technician Mary Jarrett Jackson was one of the first black women hired at the Detroit Police Department.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press .

Crime lab technician Mary Jarrett Jackson was one of the first black women hired at the Detroit Police Department. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit, 1971—a city riven by blight, racial strife, and rising crime. In the first episode of Crimetown Season 2, the police form a controversial undercover unit called STRESS—Stop The Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets. One of the unit’s cops kills so many black men that he earns a nickname: Mr. STRESS. Can anyone stop him?

LISTEN TO CHAPTER ONE


MR. STRESS

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We had the bad guys running scared. Which is just where the fuck we wanted them.
— Raymond Peterson
 This chart, from a pamphlet created by several organizations opposed to STRESS, compares the shooting count of the most active STRESS officers. Raymond Peterson had the highest total.  Courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University .

This chart, from a pamphlet created by several organizations opposed to STRESS, compares the shooting count of the most active STRESS officers. Raymond Peterson had the highest total. Courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University.

The view from inside an undercover STRESS car on patrol in 1973. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

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The Crime Lab Technician

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If the hurdle is there, you go over it, under it, around it, or through it. Whatever it takes.
— Mary Jarrett Jackson
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A FEW CAT HAIRS

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In my mind, I said, the next time I get anything from Ray Peterson of a shooting, I am going to see what I can do.
— Mary Jarrett Jackson
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THE TRIAL

I begged Ray Peterson to plead guilty.
— Norman Lippitt, Attorney

Detroit Under STRESS

The interview with Raymond Peterson in this episode appears courtesy of David Van Wie's documentary “Detroit Under STRESS.” To learn more about David's film and find out how to watch it, visit detroitunderstress.com.


EPISODE CREDITS

Crimetown is Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier. It’s produced by Soraya Shockley, John White, Rob Szypko, and Samantha Lee. The senior producer is Drew Nelles. Editing by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier. Editing help from Alex Blumberg, Caitlin Kenney, Emanuele Berry, Danielle Elliot, and Austin Mitchell. Fact-checking by Jennifer Blackman. This episode was mixed, sound designed, and scored by Sam Bair. Original music this season composed by Homer Steinweiss. We recorded some original music at Rustbelt Studios in Detroit in partnership with Detroit Sound Conservancy. Special thanks to Carleton Gholz and Maurice “Pirahnahead” Herd. Additional music by John Kusiak, and additional mixing by Bobby Lord. Our theme song is “Politicians In My Eyes” by Death.

Our credit music this week is “I Won’t Love You or Leave You,” performed by Steve Mencha and David Ruffin, written and produced by Detroit Soul Ambassador Melvin Davis. Archival research by Brennan Rees. Archival footage courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University. Show art and design by James Cabrera and Elise Harven. To learn more about STRESS, read Mark Binelli’s piece “The Fire Last Time” in the New Republic. Thanks to the Detroit Free Press, Peter Bhatia, Jim Schaeffer, Mary Schroeder, Mary Wallace, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History, Melissa Samson, the Detroit Historical Society, Sheila Cockrel, Erin Henneghan, Kaitlin Roberts, Heather Ann Thompson, Courtney Brown Jr., Charlie LeDuff, Mike McKay, and everyone who shared their stories with us. Detroit is an amazing place, and we’re honored to tell a small part of its story.

Rob SzypkoSeason 2, Detroit, Episode 1