6.19.2006

Mexia and Juneteenth: 25th Anniversary

It was 1981 (and I was still a teenager - barely) when the news came out that three young black men (ages 19, 19 and 18) had died in Lake Mexia after they had been arrested. For some crazy reason they were put in a boat to be transported across the lake, but the boat overturned and the three men (but none of the cops) drowned. I had always believed the three black men were handcuffed. The Morning News tells me today that a "hearing officer" (whatever the heck that is) determined they were not. But I didn't know this: The three men had been taken into custody because the police believed they were "smoking marijuana." Sheesh.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothin like a little boatin and tokin on Juneteenth.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh is putting it lightly! These kind of stories really piss me off! I better stop now before I get carried away...

Anonymous said...

There are so many things wrong with this, I wouldn't know where to begin. Ditto to 2:24 p.m. That is absolutely heartbreaking. Three black boys die at the hands of bad racist cops. There is no way these cops weren't responsible for their deaths.

Reagan RIP said...

Moral of the story. Do not try to run from the police when you are in a boat and handcuffed.

Anonymous said...

Everyone automatically assumes that the cops were dirty. Is it not just as likely that the boat did tip over in the lake and that the black guys just couldn't swim. Besides, if they were smoking marijuana, then their reflexes and ability were further slowed. Maybe they drowned just because they couldn't swim and were high?

Anonymous said...

I don't think we need to worry about this sort of thing happening in the 21st Century. Our Supreme Court has determined that police officers are all very professional now. We can just let God sort it all out later

Paul Harvey said...

Barry, here is the rest of the story...

Published: April 18, 1982
An all-white jury today acquitted three former Limestone County officers in the drownings of three black teen-agers who were in custody when a boat capsized on a Texas lake.

Kenny Elliott, a deputy, Kenneth Archie, a reserve deputy, and David Drummond, a probation officer, were found not guilty of criminally negligent homicide.

All three men had been suspended from their jobs pending resolution of the case.

The youths were arrested June 19, 1981, for investigation of marijuana possession at a celebration of Juneteenth, marking the day in 1865 when Texas slaves heard they were free. The boat capsized about 80 feet from shore as the officers were trying to ferry the youths across Lake Mexia.

Carl Baker, 19 years old; Steven Booker, 19, and Anthony Freeman, 18, drowned. Mr. Elliott and Mr. Drummond, who are white, swam to shore. Mr. Archie, a black, was rescued.

Sgt Joe Friday said...

If you want more facts in the case follow this link:

http://loper.org/~george/trends/2001/Jun/25.html

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal?

No white guy except maybe Jack LaLanne could swim that far with their hands handcuffed behind their backs.

Anonymous said...

Typical... those boys tried to steal more chain than they could swim with.