By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck police are investigating a possible hate crime that led to the stabbing death of an African-American man at around 3:30 a.m. on Conant.
According to police sources, three white men, who are heavily tattooed and described as being hardcore punk fans, are in custody for slashing the throat of a Hamtramck man, who police found bleeding to death on Conant.
The suspects may have come from Smalls Bar on Conant and Caniff where four hardcore bands had played, police say.
As of Saturday afternoon, police were not releasing the names of the deceased or the suspects, however by early evening a press release was scheduled to be issued.
Michigan State Police were called in to help gather evidence. If the homicide is the result of a hate crime, police say federal authorities may be called in to assist in the investigation.
One of the suspects was driven by a friend to Wayne Hospital. Hospital officials alerted Hamtramck police, and officers went to the hospital to arrest the suspect and the person who drove him.
The suspect is under armed guard and is scheduled to have surgery on his hand.
By 1 p.m., Saturday, Hamtramck firefighters were still washing down Conant, from Caniff to Yemans.
Police say the fight started out with words being exchange, to a pushing match and then knives were drawn out. The suspects and victim apparently were stabbing each other down several blocks on Conant.
The owner of Smalls Bar could not be reached.
The names of the bands playing at the bar Friday included: “Cro-Mags,” “Death in Custody,” “Smash Your Enemies” and “The Family.”
Some bands in the hard core punk scene espouse racial hatred toward minorities.
Dean Elliot, an attorney representing Smalls, said the bands that played Friday night do not promote racism.
“Two of the bands on the bill have African-American members, and the producer of the show is Asian-American,” Elliot said.
One of the bands, the Cro-Mags, has played at Smalls three other times without incident, he said.
Elliot also said there were no fights during the show, and that the bar closed at 2 a.m.
As for the suspects, he said “we don’t know where these guys came from.”
This story was edited on Oct. 8 at 3:30 p.m. and on Oct. 14.
October 9, 2011 at 12:12 am
they were Not racist!!! you don’t have facts, and to assume its a hate crime is ludacris! the incident is under investigation… you can’t place judgement, on “tattoos” as rasists!!! AND NOTE they were stabbing EACHOTHER down several blocks! so what Really happened???
October 9, 2011 at 12:54 am
Who gives a crap if they are racist or not. THEY ARE MURDERERS. Enough said. You, ladyTiger, are an idiot for even making your uneducated analysis and attempt at defending them. Add you all to the list of “Shouldabeenaborted”
October 9, 2011 at 12:56 am
Oh. And learn to spell. Just a suggestion.
October 9, 2011 at 1:23 am
@ llady truth….these suspects are good friends of mine……there not racist….im mexican by the way….and we hangout with all races…..wait for the facts
October 9, 2011 at 3:54 am
i’ll tell ya what happened, people are too scared nowadays to get beat up so they start using weapons oh and if they were drinking most obviously they cant handle their liquor so therefore they shouldnt be drinking if alcohol played a role here and 3 against 1???? come on dont be wimps and lets not forget this is hamtragic we live in….
October 9, 2011 at 5:29 am
ladyTruth, were you there? Do YOU know the exact circumstances of what happened? Who are you to say if they are murderers, or acting in self defense. I don’t think you should be calling anyone an ‘idiot’, or especially stating someone ‘should’ve been aborted’ if you’re going to call others murderers. You know, some people consider abortion murder. I personally think that your analysis of the situation you know nothing about except what this very biast and judgemental reporter wrote should be considered uneducated.
Also, to ‘me’: again, you don’t know the circumstances. Don’t assume they were intoxicated just because they were leaving a bar. There ARE people that drink responsibly. Also, the ‘reporter’ states they were stabbing each other.
ladyTruth and ‘me’, I’m guessing you weren’t there. I wasn’t either. Maybe you should keep your accusations and your assumptions to yourselves. Let the courts, cops, the accused and espescially the FACTS be the judge.
October 9, 2011 at 7:46 am
ladytruth: Not racists, were attacked first, alcohol involved, self defense….now shut the f$@k up! Thanks 😉
October 9, 2011 at 10:05 am
jane why dont you read my comment carefully because it states ” if they were drinking”. keyword “IF” but 9 times out of 10 alcohol is involved cuz some people cant act right when they have had a few drinks, ive been to bars i have seen how some people are when they drink, hell i have gotten drunk off my mind before ive kept my cool and had my fun cuz thats what its about having a few drinks and laugh and get home safe. one thing i do agree with is the media always adds more to it than what it actually is.
October 9, 2011 at 11:37 am
Lady truth I’s stuipd and is racist her self I went to school with the victem and kno him pretty good he was not violent and has a medical conditions u only got there side of the story y would He start a fight wit three people when he was by him self they didnt have to slit is throat 3 men coulda jus punched em. Its a 100% hate crime lady truth dumb ass shyt look at the facts they guys should spend the rest of there life in prison they coulda measly over powered them it is a hate crime
sercombe needs a story
October 9, 2011 at 11:49 am
Typical….media making up there own version of the story. They are not racist and it was self defense…could it be that one was running down the block to get away…and NOT that they were stabing each other for blocks. I’ve never seen I knife fight go for blocks unless one is trying to get away…
October 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm
it was self defense,an to judge a person for havin tattoos is wrong!the man does it for a living an is a great artist.maybe if the black men hadn’t started ,the end of there night wont have been a nightmare..what would you do if you were attacked?I’m sorry someone had to die but if I thought my life was on the line I would have done the same”now idiot is in the box”
October 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm
How is it self defense he didn’t have a gun and there where 3 guys y would he start a fight being by himself he must have been attacked first and couldn’t a t in self defense. These people took that mans life for no reason. Of course there going to give a story to protect themselfs form going to prison for the rest of there life y didn’t they call the cops after we didn’t they jus stab him in the leg one time then call the cops we couldn’t they jus over power him with there hands why did they slice his throat these people should do the rest of there life in prison y would he start a fight with three people being by himself. Could some body plz answer these questions no cause they can’t 100% hate crime hope u fry
October 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm
Its not a possible hate crime it is a hate crime makes sense if u look at facts 3 on 1 speaks for it self these guys weren’t Lil kids there grown racist men they probably could of knocked him out with a punch
October 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm
I am very sad that this reporter stated it was a “racist ” incident!!! My son was there and there are lots of people of color that listen to this music. He has tatoos and isn’t racist and many of his friends are of color. These kids are not skinheads and shouldn’t be associated with them. They don’t let the skinheads come in and make racial slurs!!! As a reporter you need to get your facts straight before you make assumptions. Some of these kids are straightedge and don’t drink alcohol or use drugs!!! Alot of their music is against racism and some is christian based, get your facts straight so you don’t cause racism towards these kids!!!
October 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm
why’s the venue to blame here? put these four people in ANY situation and I’ll bet you get the same result. He mouths off to them or they start something with him, whatever it could happen anywhere.
that being said, what’re the chances a black guy asks a couple of guys coming out of a bar for some spare change?
Hamtown resident 7 years.
October 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm
I am very confused the reporter comented and I quote (Three heavily tattooed men) What does that have to do with the story? It sounds like he is tring to play the discrimination game to me,
No one knows the truth yet, But I do know one of the suspects and my son at the age of 7 was calling him uncle _ _ _ _ _ _.even though there is no blood relationship,these are good hearted human beings that are already being downplayed by the media as being drunk,heavily tattooed wild men.How does anyone know the circumstances of what really happend yet,REMEMBER there is a word called (self defense),
Innocent until proven guilty is the law.
October 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm
YOU PEOPLE ARE RIDICULOUS .
October 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm
Four against one = self defense?!?!
October 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm
I feel like no one should have anything to say becauseo my cousin got killed in don’t anyone of u know him or in that case know what life was like for him first thing first he wasn’t that kind of person to just say something out the way to someone not even to his family he stayed to his self so for someone to do something like this to him is wrong who in there right is goiing to do something like this he wasn’t type of person who make u want to do something to him all night we up waiting on him to get home in the whole time he’s on conant dead then we found out the next day but u know everything happens for a reason in at the end of the day they have to answer to the lord most high they aren’t getting away with nothing
October 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm
What really happened? WE GOTTA KNOW!
October 9, 2011 at 10:37 pm
All you people need to learn “ALL” of the facts! Before you have any sort of right what so ever to comment about this!!! Like who in the fight was the one to pull out a weapon an cut two of the unarmed white males!!! And anyone that says anything at all about tattoo’s having anything to do with any of this is just plan dumb!!!! Its called “SELF DEFENCE”!!!!
October 10, 2011 at 9:08 am
Absolutely insane to immediately throw allegations of racism out there. The writer here should be held responsible for tainting the investigation and case with allegations like that. Completely agreed with ladyTiger, loudog, and Jane…those immediately assuming things need to take a step back and allow the investigation to occur before sentencing anyone. It’s innocent until proven guilty…not the other way around. Only those 4 know what really truly went down…the rest of us have to wait for the information to come together and allow the investigation to take its’ course. It’s absolutely awful that a life was taken in this, but allow these men their due process. Tattoos DO NOT equal racist and hardcore DOES NOT equal racist. I hope that the writer here can see that his presumptuous allegations are unfounded, unfair, and will stigmatize these men and this case.
October 10, 2011 at 10:27 am
Let’s play devil’s advocate here. Follow me for grins and giggles. 3 grown WHITE men walk out of a bar that is 100% known for trouble (which is basically why locals don’t go there). 1 BLACK man is outside. First and foremost, WHY were these 3 men carrying knives INSIDE a public place? You can’t tell me that these “innocent” guys were just out for a night of music. Why the knives? Any why slit his throat? Self defense is to injure someone enough to GET AWAY! So one lone guy was fighting off 3 grown men, in 3 different directions? I don’t think so! Fry the bas@rds! This was a total hate crime!
Oh and I’m white! 🙂
October 10, 2011 at 10:38 am
better yet, let’s change the scenario and see if ya’ll still say self defense.
Let’s say, 3 BLACK men walk out of a “RAP” concert and a confrontation happens with 1 lone WHITE man. 3 BLACK guys slit the throat of the WHITE guy and claim self defense. You buying this story?
October 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm
Thats all u people have is the race card. Get off the racism BS cause its old.
October 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm
I do not know the facts of what happened so I will refrain on commenting on the incident. I just want to say that the author of this piece is totally off the mark saying several of the bands promote racial hatred. What the Hell is this guy talking about? You obviously do not know ANYTHING about the music. Just an FYI, I am a white male in an interracial relationship. My child is mixed. If I thought this music had ANYTHING to do with racism, I would not defend it. Get your facts straight Charles, before you go commenting on something you don’t know anything about. That is all….
October 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm
This might be the most irresponsible article I’ve ever seen in the Review.
October 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm
brian your as stupid as ive ever seen you dont know crap u dont know shit so shut stupid
October 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm
Jus saying if it was a white man dressed like a punk rocker walking down the street this would have never happened so this is a 100% hate crime if he did pull. The knife out first they could of easly ran away. 3 grown men could of took him down anyways y didn’t they jus stab em in the leg y did they slice his throat y didn’t they call the police right after. Of course there going to make up a story to. Defend thereself. Its said u can’t here the victim side if the story. There right this is a 100% hate crime that man didn’t desver to die his kids didn’t deserve to loose there father and his mother didn’t deserve the pain she’s going threw
October 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Hey Louie – are you saying just because someone call the suspect ‘uncle’ that means he didn’t kill a man? I don’t know the victim but I’m pretty sure someone, somewhere has probably called him uncle too. Whether blood related our not, that child doesn’t have an “uncle” anymore.
As for the injured suspect? Why drive all the way to Wayne to seek medical attention? Have something to hide? I say let the victim’s family perform his surgery . . . . .
October 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm
This was not an act of racism. I know one of the suspects very well and he ended up in the hospital from being sliced open. Hes far from racist. We have friends of all ethnic backgrounds. So please dont taint a crime scene with your thoughts. These men deserve a fair trial and who did wrong will get what they deserve. But let the fact be known this was not a Hate Crime.
October 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm
Also how does tattoos make someone racist? Most black men that play sports have tattoos. Does that make them racist?
FAMILY BUT IT WASN'T YOURS!
October 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm
EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION AND HOPEFULLY ALL YOU TAKE A CRAP,TOO! IT’S OKAY WHAT YOU SAY!!! IT’S NOT WHERE THE PAIN IS… HE WAS A FATHER AND AN ONLY SON!!! HE WAS A GRANDSON, A NEPHEW, A FRIEND, …. WE ARE GRIEVING!!! DEVASTATED!!! LIVES ARE CHANGED FOREVER AND GURANTEE THAT WASHING HIS BLOOD OUT OF YOUR CITY DOESN’T MAKE IT GO AWAY!!! GOD LET HIM LIVE BEYOND HIS THROAT CUT, HIS OTHER WOUNDS AND TO GOD HE IS WITH! PRAY FOR THE ONES THAT’S STILL HERE WHO MUST FEEL THAT THEY ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH AND BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE TO DO THESE THINGS TO FEEL IMPORTANT. ALSO, TO ALL WHO ARE HERE TO SEE THE UGLINESS OF THE WORLD. HATRED, VIOLENCE, SELF-HATE,POVERTY!!! THIS BODY IS A SHELL BUT HIS SOUL IS WITH GOD. GOD KNEW HIS NAME, HIS HEART AND IT IS GOD WHO WILL PUT HIS HAND OVER THIS CASE, HIS LIFE, AND KEEP OUR FAMILY AND THE FAMILY OF THESE MEN!!! YOU BETTER PRAY YOU NEVER KNOW THIS PAIN! BUT FAITH IS GREATER!!!
October 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm
My thoughts and prayers are with your family in this awful time. I pray that justice will be served for the crime committed. No family deserves this.
October 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm
I wasn’t there but from what I’ve been reading & according to the news article, this is so unfortunate for the city of Hamtramck. I used to think things were different in Hamtramck, but trouble is everywhere nowadays. “IF” there were 3 against one, someone could’ve should’ve called the Police instead of taking matters in their own hands with a knife. I have to agree with the person ‘just sayin’- when the question was asked “why the knives” ? Seek & you will find. It appears that these 3 were looking for trouble and they found it with a lone person. How can one guy attack 3 men alone ? Please people I know this maybe hard to swallow, but this just wasn’t right and someone else has to pay…after all he (the victim) paid already…
Why don’t they have metal detectors in these clubs ?
October 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm
Again…medusa and just sayin…speculation is irresponsible. Allow everyone the respect to grieve their loss or face their process. The men are in custody and the investigation is in progress. If everyone was stabbing then everyone had weapons…we weren’t there and will never truly know. All of the families and friends of both the deceased and the suspects are suffering right now wondering what went wrong…maybe instead of everyone pointing fingers, it should be a lesson to all that life is precious and short and we must not take anything for granted – our loved ones, our own lives, our freedom, and our futures.
October 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm
Right, because metal detectors in clubs can somehow prevent stabbings a block away. After they’d closed. C’mon people, use your heads.
Businesses can’t control things that happen a block away. Perhaps the gas station was at fault, or the party store across the street.
Let’s blame the idiots with the knives for the knife fight.
October 11, 2011 at 11:24 am
to all of the idiots commenting and not knowing I went to school with the victim…. It is a loss to us especially bcuz he had a daughter I don’t care about any bs self defense I don’t believe you need a knife if three guys are beating up one…. I mean look at the odds…. And I truly believe it was something deeper then that night to begin with I grew up in hamtramck…. More specifically I lived all over hamtramck I even lived on trowbridge where part of this happened… But either way that is neither here nor there…. If it takes three ppl to beat up one and they pull a knife sumthin is wrong in the first place and it really makes no sense that any of you would try to claim self defense for these monsters… It was one guy!!! Keep that in mind
October 11, 2011 at 11:40 am
No speculating here. The fact is that the lone man is DEAD and the other 3 are not. 3 against 1 isn’t self defense no matter how you stack it. I don’t care who had what tattoos, that’s irrelevant BUT please note that the article states
“According to police sources, three white men, who are heavily tattooed and described as being hardcore punk fans”
this is a description from POLICE SOURCES, not the author – get off his back, he’s reporting a crime story.
Again, my prayers to the King family. May Joseph rest in peace.
October 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm
First off im good friends with the three men who did this, no one here is racist so get your facts straight there not murderers either the african american was trying to start something went to go stab my friend then my other friend stepped in as self defense to help his friend so not a murderer just happened to happen the wrong way. Police and the news should learn how to find out before just saying what happen when they don’t even know.
October 11, 2011 at 11:06 pm
First off I’m the singer for the Cro-Mags and this DID NOT happen at our show. Second, the music we play… punk/hardcore is about spirituality, positivity, and not hate, We had people of all colors at our show. This was not a hate crime, but rather an unprovoked attack as they walked to their cars by this dude wielding a straight razor. He was out of his mind on drugs and came out slicing, again unprovoked. Look at the toxicology report. You know the victim? Sorry for the loss, but I know the ones who got charged, and they NEVER look for trouble EVER. Only they know what really went down, 3 on one it was not, he severely injured most of them right out the box and if he wasnt stopped would have killed them. It will come out in the trial, the rest of you speculating crap talking morons who weren’t there should just shut your yaps. Again a life was lost but he was the one who started the attack—-jj
spread the love
October 11, 2011 at 11:38 pm
WHAT WAS THIS BLACK MAN DOIN OUT AT 3AM WITH A BOX CUTTER?ILL TELL YOU WHAT HE WAS DOIN…ROBBING FOLKS.JUST ANOTHER CRACKHEAD SCUMBAG THAT HAS RUINED 4 PEOPLES LIFES,AND YES I KNOW ALL 4 OF THEM AND THEY ARE THE VICTIMS,AND THEY ARE 1000% NOT RACIST,AS A MATTER OF FACT IF ANYONE COMES TO OUR SHOWS PREACHIN RACISM THEY KICKED OUT AND WILL NOT BE LET IN OUR SHOWS,AND THAT GOES FOR JUST ABOUT ALL HARDCORE,STRAIGHT EDGE,AND PUNK ROCK SHOWS ANYWHERE.YES THERE IS ALWAYS SOME IDIOTS AT SHOWS BUT THESE 4 WERE NOT LIKE THAT,SO DROP THE RACE CARD THAT YOU BLACK FOLKS ALWAYS PULL,AND BY THE WAY..I AM A VERY EDUCATED BLACK MAN THAT GOES TO THESE SHOWS,THESE SHOWS AND THIS MUSIC IS MY LIFE AND THESE SO CALLED TATTOED RACE HATING WHITE BOYS ARE MY VERY DEAR BROTHERS!!! DEAD JOE LEARNED THE HARD WAY,JUST ONE LESS CRACKHEAD SCUM OFF THE STREETS!!!
October 11, 2011 at 11:53 pm
first of all noone really knows the victim at all…he is my neices dad.he would never just go outside acting crazy ..trying to stab people..he was a very sweet young man and a very great father to his daughter,as for “JJ” You said look at the toxicology report,?! I thought you said you were a Singer?! Not a Lawyer Right?! How did you read that report?! So Do what you do best and Sing that Bullshit To someone else! you werent there!!!!! Joseph King Did not start this fight,We grew up together,His Daughter’s is left with no dad,Becuz people dont know know how to walk away to avoid bigger problems like this!!there is NO WAY 3 Men couldnt walk away and call the police if he Supposedly went out of control!! MY ASS!!! They deserve to die in prison! R.I.P JoMo!!
October 12, 2011 at 3:59 pm
First of all.. “spread the love” I’m sure you only say you’re black because you don’t want to be called out on your stereotyping. 2) Based on your paragraph, you are not educated.
To read such hurtful comments is ridiculous. I don’t think these men were racist, but what was done, is not excusable. They are grown men and should have known better. Arguing about what happened, does not matter, bottom line is, someone is no longer here, left behind a family and kids. We cannot hear Joseph’s side of the story, none of us were there, so to argue about that is pointless.
I feel sorry for all family memebers and friends involved, who are going through this tough time, Joseph is now gone, his family has no choice but to accept this, the suspects however, this was their choice, so whatever comes their way is only fair.
My opinion, without throwing racial insults or judgements… I do not see how this whole “self defense” theory plays out.
A.) 3 men couldn’t hold / knock down ONE.
B.) Why would one man attack 3 or 4.
C.) The THROAT SLASHING itself is a far bigger action than “self defense”.
D.) If indeed that was the case, why did the suspects not call the police for help after putting the victim down, most people in that case would, but instead they fled off.
Makes no sense to me. I see the suspects were not from Hamtramck, so MAYBE the theory of having a “wild, crazy, mad black man on drugs trying to rob and attack” them sounded good, but I live in Hamtramck, this does not happen all that often, and Joseph never displayed any sign of violence.. EVER.. his life was his daughter.
No offense to anyone, this is my opinion on it, just as all you have your own.
My prayers go out to all the family and friends dealing with both, the loss of Joseph, and the actions of the suspects.
R.I.P. JOSEPH KING
October 13, 2011 at 2:41 pm
Trouble has followed this group around for a long time….Tattoos and race have nothing to do with this…..This group of people dont get along with anyone but themselves and nobody wants to be around them because trouble allways follows…..There is allways fights and everyone is a tough guy…..3 on 1…..ha ha ha Im not surprised…
October 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm
Dear Spread The Love, You are an idiot. It doesnt matter why he was out at 3 am ans any person in their right mind that leaves their house that late would hav a weapon on them as well. How dare you call that young man a crackhead? Do you know him? No you dont so before you call another black man a crackhead because he was out that late, you should check yourself. How do you know his daughter wasnt sick and he was out making a store run for her? You dont know? You need help… Rest in Peace Joe King you are with God now baby…. As for the MURDERERS I hope they get put under the jail. self-defense my butt. 3 on 1 yeah right. They need to be locked up just because they could handle one guy . Punks, they were probebly getting the crap beat out of them. …. I lived in hamtramck for over 10yrs this doesnt surprise me. im just shocked that it happened to Joe….
October 15, 2011 at 8:54 pm
I don’t see it. One person trying to rob 3-4 people, alone. That’s a bunch of crap. Racism is still here its just undercover. No one is gonna admit that they are racist. The bottom line is they were wrong for murdering Joe. Self defense my A%$, you mean to tell me these men could not hold him down, then call the police. The bible says, love thy neighbor. I hope they get locked up for life. People are out here murdering each other like its ok. GOD sees everything and he knows your thoughts. They are gonna still have to answer to GOD on JUDGEMENT DAY.
October 25, 2011 at 4:56 am
I knew Joe King. He was a great friend, as well as a father. I don’t know what went down, or how. I don’t know if race is a factor, but four on one seems to be a little too much. (This coming from a white guy) What do you want people to see it as? It sure as hell isn’t self defense. I understand that when in the heat of the moment you can’t control everything, and stuff happens beyond your control. But in the end, slicing a person’s throat is far beyond ‘self defense’ so is out numbering him by three. Like I said, I really don’t know exactly how it all went down. All I can say, is another senseless fight ends in a person dying. Wait, can I even call this a fight? It was 4 on 1 for crying out loud.
RIP Joseph King
You were a great man, and will never be forgotten.
January 19, 2013 at 11:31 am
The man who was killed was trying to steal money/equipment from the bands and got caught. He then pulled a knife and that’s when the other guys pulled their knives. A criminal got killed for being a criminal oh well.
August 26, 2017 at 3:05 pm
The Cro-Mags don’t,…and have never promoted OR tolerated racism. Period. It’s an unfortunate situation. A life has been lost. But don’t assume hardcore = racists.