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Bike chase death sparks riots

Published: 17 June 2003

Hundreds have rioted for two nights in Benton Harbour, Michigan, USA after a motorcyclist died during a police chase.

The unrest included shootings, stabbings and arson, with several arrests, after the death of black motorcyclist Terrance Shurn, 28. There are suspicions the riots were caused by racial unrest and claims of police harassment. Police do not know why Shurn was fleeing, but it emerged his licence had been suspended and he had a small amount of marijuana on his person.

Police officers were pelted with bricks and bottles in the unrest, which prompted Governor Jennifer Granholm to approve a state of emergency for the town. A curfew has now been imposed and 150 extra police officers have been brought in.

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