On July 23, 1968, police in Cleveland battled with black nationalists in a night of terror that saw 6 people killed and at least 15 wounded. The gun battle touched off days of heavy rioting. The confrontation was surprising given that Cleveland had just elected Carl Stokes, the first black mayor of a major US city, who just four months earlier had kept peace in Cleveland the night that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Now his credibility and reputation lay in tatters; the leader of the black nationalists, Fred Ahmed Evans, had used Cleveland NOW! public funds to buy the rifles and ammunition used in the shootout. Ballots and Bullets looks at the roots of the violence and its political aftermath in Cleveland, a uniquely important city in the civil rights movement. Fifty years later, the specter of race violence and police brutality still haunts the United States.