CRRJ Research Leads to Police Apology in Georgia for 8 decade old Lynching

Nearly 8 Decades Later, an Apology for a Lynching in Georgia

Story by By ALAN BLINDER and RICHARD FAUSSET, New York Times, January 26, 2017

 Ernest Ward, right, the N.A.A.C.P. president in Troup County, Ga., said he had “a newfound respect” for Louis M. Dekmar, the police chief in LaGrange. Credit Dustin Chambers for The New York Times.

Ernest Ward, right, the N.A.A.C.P. president in Troup County, Ga., said he had “a newfound respect” for Louis M. Dekmar, the police chief in LaGrange. Credit Dustin Chambers for The New York Times.

LaGRANGE, Ga. — Some people here had never heard about the lynching of Austin Callaway — about how, almost 77 years ago, he was dragged out of a jail cell by a band of masked white men, then shot and left for dead.

Some people never forgot.

But on Thursday evening, the fatal cruelties inflicted upon Mr. Callaway — long obscured by time, fear, professional malfeasance and a reluctance to investigate the sins of the past — were acknowledged in this city of 31,000 people when LaGrange’s police chief, Louis M. Dekmar, who is white, issued a rare apology for a Southern lynching.

“I sincerely regret and denounce the role our Police Department played in Austin’s lynching, both through our action and our inaction,” Chief Dekmar told a crowd at a traditionally African-American church. “And for that, I’m profoundly sorry. It should never have happened.”

He also said that all citizens had the right to expect that their police department “be honest, decent, unbiased and ethical.”

“In Austin’s case, and in many like his, those were not the police department values he experienced,” he said.

The above text is an excerpt of the article by Alan Blinder and Richard Fausset, published in the New York Times on January 26, 2017. Read the complete story at www.nytimes.com

Comments are closed.

-->