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Mike Crapanzano
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By searching newspaper archives from the Times Picayune, I was able to get the initial story of what happened in regards to the riots. Basically, I summarized an article that was in the January 11th, 1972 issue of the Times Picayune. That was a Monday, though the incident happened on Friday, the 8th. A group the city identified as "Black Muslims" blocked the streets of what was called a "negro neighborhood" shouting to residents "We're here to give you you're city back". By nightfall nearly all Baton Rouge streets were deserted and nearly all shops were closed. 100 members of the Louisiana National Guard were stationed in front of City Hall. 25 injuries were reported and 4 deaths. Including 2 white police officers and 2 black men. One was unidentified. One was from Chicago. The news man previously referenced, Bob Johnson, was taken to the hospital on what was described as "massive head injuries". 20 blacks were arrested on site and 8 charged with the murder of 2 sheriffs deputies. Mayor Dumas said the event stemmed from arrests a week prior of "2 or 3 muslims, taken into custody for soliciting funds without a license". Dumas also said the people starting this were from Chicago. He then conferred with the governor and parish officials to impose a 5:30 PM to 6:00 AM curfew and the sale of gasoline and alcohol was banned. The confrontation was at the Temple Theater, where those who attended demanded "a change in conditions, money, good homes, and peace". Witnesses say that the black muslims were there in an attempt to "take over the city". Witnesses also said it was not the Baton Rouge black community involved. A few "youngsters" might have joined in but it was definitely started by outsiders.
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2011 on Lincoln Theatre complex at Abandoned Baton Rouge
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Oct 28, 2011