Elton Hayes Incident
nightingale lingo

Cabot, AR

#1 Dec 15, 2007
Does anyone from Memphis remember the Elton Hayes case of 1971? He was a black teenager who was involved in a high speed chase; he was allegedly beaten by police. He died in the hospital later that night or the next day.
There was a trial, and I believe the police were either found Not Guilty or it was a hung jury.
Just curious about any info and/or opinions.
furryriverrat

Ruther Glen, VA

#2 May 31, 2008
I do. I was working at Seessel's bakery and got off work during the curfew. I came home and loaded up my laundry and went down to the all night laundry mat on my bicycle. I was one of only three whites I knew of living in Orange Mound at the time. I heard FREEZE. I did, and got to spend the rest of the night laying spread eagle on the cold parking lot at Lamar and Airways after my laundry got searched. It got real scary at 6AM when the lights went out as per timer. The 5 cops guarding me and the another guy who happened to walk in later dropped with two of them pointing their guns at each of us and the other three pointing out at who ever they thought turned off the lights. Not fun having a scared cop with his gun pointing at your head.

As I remember three cops were indicted (31 were at the scene of the traffic stop where they killed one and hospitalized two other young teens by beating them.) One of them was a neighbor of my gf at the time. She lived in the same apt building as the young cop (father of twin girls) who was one of the beaters. He was a shit, as was another former cop who lived in the complex. A guy named Buford Pusser, living with a underage girl and selling reefer. You are correct, there was a whitewash that got all of the cops released. The only person that got hurt on the force was the police chief who was fired.
cadjoey

United States

#3 Jul 4, 2008
The official story the next morning was that 3 black youths, in a stolen pickup were involved in a high-speed chase with Memphis Police that ended with a fatal crash after Shelby County Sheriff Deputies set up a roadblock near Capelville school out in the county..the subsiquent wreck took the life of Elton Hayes, one of the black youths in the pickup..However, the next day the local paper ( the Commercial Appeal ), ran a front page picture showing the truck was NOT wrecked..Investigation resulted with several Sheriff Deputies Indicted for beating him to death..no one convicted but several days of civil unrest and rioting resulted
curtis newborn

Horn Lake, MS

#4 Apr 18, 2009
when i was 3 or 4 years old elton took me for a ride on the handle bars of his bike...as he went faster i got scared and let go...i fell between the wheel spokes where my leg got trapped hitting the forks and flipping the bike. all the older people ran to help and scolded elton for putting me on the handle bars...i told him it was my fault for letting go..he was my friend....years later we had moved away i heard the news, he was so badly beaten, they had to use clay to make his face presentable at his funeral....i will never forget elton hayes..my friend
tglenn

United States

#6 Jul 31, 2009
I've been recalling the events better since my previous post. I think the judge threw out particular evidence that the procecutor had witheld and the jury aquited. It's been too long to remember clearly.
nanatenn05

United States

#7 Sep 20, 2009
I went to school with Elton,Several of the cops had strokes of bad luck. One of them lost their son due to drowning,one of the cops wife and children left him.I think all of this happened in oct. His mom left his room like he left it that night for a long time. I don't know if she is still living.such a sad event.He was her only child.
wegottheeye

Watchung, NJ

#8 Oct 12, 2009
I didn't know who Elton Hayes was until I recently purchased some original Black Panther Party newspapers at a flea market. The front cover on one of them had a photo of Elton Hayes in his coffin. It had a four page story with a large centerfold lay out. As I read it, I thought how horrible it must of been to die of a beating like that and then have the Memphis PD try to cover it up by saying Elton's injuries were caused by the accident. I really enjoyed reading the personal accounts of people who knew Elton. Thanks for making him someone real instead of just photos and a story in an old newspaper. I don't know when or if this post will be read, but check out eBay if you want to see the photos of Elton, his friends, and Memphis at that time. Thanks again for the stories.
Evelyn Deveraux

Los Angeles, CA

#9 Nov 8, 2009
Having been at the trial of Elton Hayes it has left an indelible memory of a trial that seemed a mockery of the justice system, when not one policeman would identify each other on that fateful night. The atmosphere of the courtroom was like a party where everyone knew each other and what the outcome would be. One Memphis lady, Cornelius Crenshaw was there and we went to lunch together where she told me her many experiences as the leading civil rights community leader who now has a library named after her. I've lived to see a black president and still have faith that people can change, black or white.
Evelyn Deveraux

Los Angeles, CA

#10 Nov 8, 2009
Having been at the Elton Hayes court trial that seemed like a party of friends who all knew what the outcome of this trial would be. 31 policeman at the scene of the crime and not one would identify the other. They beat a 13 yr old kid to death and had to use clay to make his face presentable while hospitalizing 2 of his teen age friends who dared to take their fathers truck for a joy ride. Cornelius Crenshaw was there that day and we went to lunch together where she told me many injustices she had suffered from a civil rights activist in the hands of the Memphis police. She would be ashamed that it's still going on in 2009, I lived to see a black president and hope to see a country truly united.
Jake Pruner

Springfield, TN

#11 Sep 29, 2010
Buford Pusser was not involved and did not even live in Memphis.
M Richmond

Lodi, OH

#12 Feb 22, 2011
Bufford Pusser had nothing to do with it. happened in december of 1971, race riots followed. one black police officer wilks. http://bit.ly/epypsJ
M Richmond

Lodi, OH

#13 Feb 22, 2011
was octoboer 1971, excuse me.
Ed Rico

Horn Lake, MS

#14 Oct 10, 2011
nightingale lingo wrote:
Does anyone from Memphis remember the Elton Hayes case of 1971? He was a black teenager who was involved in a high speed chase; he was allegedly beaten by police. He died in the hospital later that night or the next day.
There was a trial, and I believe the police were either found Not Guilty or it was a hung jury.
Just curious about any info and/or opinions.
I knew Elton personally. He was a couple years younger than me. Calvin Mckissack was also in the truck with him. I was in my sophomore year at Tennessee State when it happen. A guy that knew that I was from Memphis showed me a picture on the front page of the Muslim newspaper which showed Elton. It remind me of Emmitt Till's picture. I got a chance to talk to Calvin that summer and he told me that the Police pulled him from the truck and while laying down on the ground one officer put handcuffs on him and he looked over his shoulder all he could see was several officers in a ditch swinging their night sticks. He was told not to look over in the direction of Elton in the ditch. The three victims were taking to one of the Memphis hospital. Calvin stated that Elton was on the stretcher next to him and his faces was like red jello.
bam

Eads, TN

#15 May 15, 2015
Ed Rico wrote:
<quoted text>
I knew Elton personally. He was a couple years younger than me. Calvin Mckissack was also in the truck with him. I was in my sophomore year at Tennessee State when it happen. A guy that knew that I was from Memphis showed me a picture on the front page of the Muslim newspaper which showed Elton. It remind me of Emmitt Till's picture. I got a chance to talk to Calvin that summer and he told me that the Police pulled him from the truck and while laying down on the ground one officer put handcuffs on him and he looked over his shoulder all he could see was several officers in a ditch swinging their night sticks. He was told not to look over in the direction of Elton in the ditch. The three victims were taking to one of the Memphis hospital. Calvin stated that Elton was on the stretcher next to him and his faces was like red jello.
Does anyone know where Calvin McKissack is now?
lollipop

Memphis, TN

#17 Jul 16, 2015
bam wrote:
<quoted text>
Does anyone know where Calvin McKissack is now?
Calvin still lives in Memphis. He works as a custodian.

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