© 2022 Red River Radio
Voice of the Community
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

City Of Shreveport Apologizes For Police Actions Taken In 1963

1-Little Union _1963.jpg
Courtesy: Shreveport Times / LSUS Archives
Shreveport city police under the direction of Commissioner of Public Safety George D'Artois (foreground) surround churchgoers at Little Union Baptist Church in Shreveport on September 22, 1963.

FORMAL APOLOGY— The city of Shreveport, Louisiana, has formally apologized for actions taken against civil rights supporters in September 1963. Those actions included the desecration of a church, the severe beating of a civil rights activist, and the arrest of 18 high school students who protested in response. The apologies are included in two resolutions approved unanimously by the city council. The council approved Resolution 17, formally offering an apology to the members of Little Union Baptist Church and their descendants for an incident on September 22, 1963, as the nation observed a national day of mourning and local chapters of the NAACP across the country held memorial services.

Courtesy: file photo
Little Union Baptist Church in Shreveport as it appears today.

At the time the Shreveport Police rode horses inside the church as an act of intimidation. Also, Reverend Harry Blake who was president of the Shreveport Chapter of the NAACP was severely beaten by officers. Shreveport Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor sponsored the resolution, saying she led the effort to make sure "our history was not erased.” She says the apology was needed for the city to move forward.