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TX NAACP Head Wants 1976 Death Investigated

1-Frank Robinson, ETX Civil Rights Leader.jpg
Courtesy: TPR
Frank Robinson of Palestine, Texas was a civil rights activist who was found dead in his home from an apparent shotgun blast to the head in 1976.

CAUSE OF DEATH QUESTIONED - The president of the Texas NAACP is calling for the re-opening of an investigation into the violent death of an East Texas civil rights activist that happened almost 50 years ago. Frank J. Robinson was fighting for voting rights for Black East Texans when he died in his home in 1976 from a shotgun blast to the head. The death was first seen as a murder by the Palestine Texas police chief but was later declared a suicide. After public outcry a rare juried public inquest was held and the suicide verdict was affirmed. However, today Texas NAACP president Gary Bledsoe is questioning that verdict.

Bledsoe says new evidence uncovered by the Texas Public Radio podcast – “The Ghost of Frank J. Robinson” raised serious doubts about the official finding of suicide and points to possible murder.

1-Gary Bledsoe, pres TX NAACP.jpg
Courtesy: El Paso, Inc News
Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP wants the 1976 death of Frank Robinson of Palestine, Texas re-investigated.

“If you look at the timeline of the actual murder and the activities that Mr. Robinson was involved in it seems patently obvious that this was an execution in response to him exercising his civil rights,” Bledsoe said.

Bledsoe would like the newly formed “National Civil Rights Cold Case Review Board” to investigate. It’s tasked with investigating murders connected to the civil rights struggle.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.