October 2, 1973 – April 11, 2006
“If you can survive Detroit, I’ll be damned if I’ll go anywhere andbe hoed out. ‘Cause this place is a muthafucka.”
On April 11, 2006, Proof was drinking in a clubcalled C.C.C. on 8 Mile in Detroit.
It was 4:30 a.m. The club was serving booze illegally – after hours – makingit a “speakeasy.”
The speakeasy I used to go toback in my bartending days (The Gas Station – The E Ramp) was called Sonny’s, used to sell lines of coke with the drinks. Don’t know ifthat was the case here.
Contrary to what people think, all of 8 MileRoad is not horrible. Parts of it hit HarperWoods,
parts of it hit Grosse Pointe.
I had a friend call and ask if it were true there were blockades on 8 Mile Roadto keep the blacks out of the white neighborhoods.
So not true. That’s on Alter Road.
So, long story short, there was a fight – withguns – and Proof gets shot three times in the head and chest, and was killedalmost immediately. He was taken to the hospital,where he was pronounced dead.
His 3-hour funeral was held at the FellowshipChapel.
Eminem eulogized his late friend and former best man. Several hundred people showed up, and there was a bomb threat.
Proof’s body was taken by horse-drawnhearse to Woodlawn Cemetery. According to one report, more than adozen stretch white limos, black and green stretch Hummers and hundreds of carstied up traffic for more than two hours.
Proof is in a cryptjust around the corner from Rosa Parks.
A makeshift “shrine” showed up at a telephone pole near the nightclub, which has now closed itsdoors for good.
Things sure have changed since I grew up. There is a party store about 20yards from where Proof was shot where I used to ride my bike to, to buy WackyPackages.
Last time I was home, I went through my oldneighborhood and discovered the house whereI grew up had burned.
The old downtown movie theaterI worked in as a projectionist is now gone,
and houseslike this still grace downtown.
Sure, Detroit has come a long way inrecent years, but its still a pretty painful. Sad, really.
Tip from Findadeath friend Shannon added June06: Just a word on Proof that you recently posted on the site, the guy who wascharged in his death Mario Ethridge had the murder charge dropped as it wasstated in acted in self defense as Proof shot his cousin (Mario’s) Kevin Benderwho was in the Army. Mr. Ethridge apparently was a bouncer at the CCCclub. They said Proof had a blood alcohol level of 0.32 which is 4 timesover the limit in Michigan and a fight broke out over a game of pool. Mr. Ethridge is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and unlawfullydischarging a firearm in a building, but it was stated he acted in self defensein protecting his cousin.
This is how the news in the area portrays it has happening, Keith Bender (bar owner) and Proof get in a scuffle over a pool game over money that Proof won. Proof (the non violent?) then shoots Bender and is killed by a bouncer. Ok now here’s the REAL story. Yes they had an argument over a pool game but Proof knew something was bound to happen being in Detroit. The guy and Proof get in an argument and they both drew. Bender shot, he missed and Proof pistol whipped him. Now here comes the big bad bouncer shooting proof THREE times with an unlicensed gun. He claimed self defense but what is a bouncer doing with a gun anyway? I’ve been a bouncer for 7 years and I’ve never had to use a gun or any other type of weapons as I’ve disarmed people with my bare hands. the man is not being charged with murder, only an unlicensed gun. Self defense warrants a wounded person, not 3 shots at close range to the head.
On a happy note, I did find another barthat used to be a speakeasy during prohibition called the EastsideTavern, with a perversely low ceiling, but a great place to get cheap beer.