Thursday, February 07, 2008

State House Judiciary Committee declines to organize a commission to study the "Orangeburg Massacre"

From the Greenville News:

The Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jim Harrison, a Columbia Republican, told The Greenville News, "My personal feeling is we don't need to create something that is going to create more division."

Harrison added, "Unless I heard from a broad range of people within the House that this is good for uniting us instead of dividing us, then I'm not inclined to be supportive.

Wikipedia provides this summary of the Orangeburg Massacre:

In the days leading up to February 8, 1968, around 200 protesters had gathered on the campus of South Carolina State University (located in the city of Orangeburg) to protest the segregation of All Star Bowling Lane (now called All-Star Triangle Bowl), on US 301, now SC 33). The bowling alley was owned by the late Harry K. Floyd. Students continued their days of protesting by starting a bonfire. As police attempted to put out the fire, an officer was injured by a thrown piece of banister, according to an article in Nieman Reports at Harvard University.

The police believed they were receiving small weapons fire during the incident. Protesters insist that they did not fire at police officers, but did hurl various objects (and insults) at the police. Evidence that police were being fired on was inconclusive, and there is no evidence that protesters were armed or had fired on officers.

The officers responded by firing into the crowd, killing three young men, Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith, and wounding 27 others. Henry Smith and Samuel Hammond were SCSU students; Delano Middleton, a local high school student, was seventeen.

No comments: