On May 7, 2013, in Minden County, Louisiana, Rev. Kenneth Wallace, President of the Minden Branch of the NAACP, addressed the Webster Parish Police Jury regarding a 66 year old lynching case. Aided with research provided by the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University School of Law, Rev. Wallace made an impassioned plea, requesting that the Webster Parish Police Jury make a formal apology, and hold a memorial service in recognition of the injustice suffered by U.S. veteran, John C. Jones, and his cousin, Albert Harris Jr.
The two men were victims to brutal beatings by a white lynch mob on August 8, 1946, which left John C. Jones dead and caused Albert Harris Jr. to flee town. Local law enforcement refused to commit to any arrests or prosecutions in correlation with the lynching. Eventually, the U.S. Justice Department opened a case against six suspects, including two Webster Parish Sheriff deputies. At the trial, the defense counsel played upon enduring Southern hostility towards the federal government, representing the case of the prosecution as a politically motivated attack on the South. This strategy, combined with appeals to the racial prejudices of the jury, proved successful. All of the defendants were acquitted of the charges brought against them.
Please review local news stations coverage of the case by following the links below.