Rushton Journal of Undergraduate Humanities Research


This paper examines how social and economic conditions in Detroit, MI, during the second half of the twentieth century were exploited in a specific instance of municipal corruption involving the city’s Chief of Police, William L. Hart. Drawing on primary source documents, this paper argues that Chief Hart corruptly exploited the city’s social and economic conditions and evaded legal intervention over a prolonged period thereby increasing the magnitude of the corruption and exacerbating negative effects on the city’s most vulnerable residents. Media coverage surrounding Hart’s conviction depicts ramifications difficult to measure highlighting a critical need for research into municipal corruption.