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The Militant, 7 September 1946

Lynchers Named by Negro Victim

Known Murderers at Large but Officials Do Not Act

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 36, 7 September 1946, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


When a gang of white lynchers at Minden, Louisiana, murdered John C. Jones, 28-year-old Negro veteran, they also left for dead another victim, Albert Harris Jr., 17-year-old Negro youth. That was on August 8.

Last week, Albert Harris “returned from the dead” to name at least five of the killers who tortured Jones to death with whip, blow-torch and meat cleaver.

In New York City under the protection of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the youth who survived the lynch attempt told reporters the details of the torturer-murder of Jones and of his own almost miraculous escape.

Names of 13 white men, including three deputy sheriffs, who participated in the race-hate killing have been turned over to the FBI by NAACP investigators.

Young Harris and Jones had been arrested on July 31 for allegedly going into the yard of a white woman to try to rape her. It was a cooked-up charge and the woman involved refused to file a complaint.

Harris was released and then re-arrested two days later, after Deputy Sheriff Charles Edwards first beat up the boy’s father, Albert Harris Sr.

Nine days later, both Jones and Albert Jr. were released from jail. Outside the jail they were seized by the waiting lynch mob and driven into the swamps. Harris was beaten with whips for hours. Finally, a terrible blow from a gun knocked him unconscious. He was left for dead.

He came to in the morning and found Jones still alive, his face charred by a blow-torch, his hands chopped off. He died just after Albert gave him water.

Albert made his way to relatives, who quickly and secretly sent him north. For a time his whereabouts were unknown. Some of the lynchers were reported trailing him to Texas.

Now, the question is: What is the government going to do about the known Minden lynchers? For weeks, the government has failed to act in the case of the two Negro couples lynched in Georgia last July. On July 29, the NAACP turned over names of several of the Georgia killers to the FBI and Georgia authorities. The killers are still walking the streets.

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