Tony Stephens

Lake Charles, LA

#1 Apr 18, 2012
As best I can recall after 51 years, I was in Opelousas in August of 1964 to play a Babe Ruth League Baseball tournament with my Lake Charles teammates. On Sunday morning walking around the town square we observed a large throng of people lining the walks in front of the Catholic Church. It was an odd scene, as I recall, because people, all of them white, were milling outside instead of entering the church. Soon a taxi appeared at the foot of the main walkway to the church and an elderly black man wearing a fedora stepped out of the taxi and began walking toward the church steps. At that moment a police officer, who I had not seen bevore, stepped out of the crowd and hit the man with a billy club on the side of the head. The man fell toward the cement as if in slow motion and I recall seeing his forehead appear to bounce of the cement. Then other police officers appeared and picked him up and whisked him away in a police unit. I have never forgotten this and it has influenced me for the rest of my life. I can find no mention of this in any publication or other source. Is there anyone else out there who remembers this incident? I would really like to hear another account of the events of that day.

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