NPR

Defense Attorney For Police In 'Algiers Motel Shooting': 'Am I A Soulless Person?'

Norman Lippitt defended Detroit police officers after the 1967 death of three black men, in what's known as the Algiers Motel shooting. NPR's Michel Martin discusses the case with Lippitt.
Norman Lippitt puts his feet up in his Birmingham, Mich., office. Source: Courtesy of Joel Kurth

Norman Lippitt says an insult by a former Detroit city councilwoman doesn't bother him — but he can't seem to stop talking about it.

"Sheila Cockrel says I'm a soulless person. I read that in a magazine. I'm soulless!" Lippitt laughs as he considers the idea. Cockrel told Bridge Magazine that Lippitt "got extremely wealthy protecting raging police brutality."

The 81-year-old attorney says he's heard it all before. "At my age, what the hell do I care?"

But he does seem to care. The word appears to get under his skin.

"If I represented someone in organized crime, am I a soulless person?" he asks. "If I represented a narcotics dealer, am

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