Tuesday, January 31, 2017
POLICE CHIEF APOLOGIZES FOR LYNCHING 77 YEARS AGO
"LaGRANGE, Ga. — Some people here had never heard about the lynching of Austin Callaway — about how, almost 77 years ago, he was dragged out of a jail cell by a band of masked white men, then shot and left for dead.
Some people never forgot.
But on Thursday evening, the fatal cruelties inflicted upon Mr. Callaway — long obscured by time, fear, professional malfeasance and a reluctance to investigate the sins of the past — were acknowledged in this city of 31,000 people when LaGrange’s police chief, Louis M. Dekmar, who is white, issued a rare apology for a Southern lynching.
“I sincerely regret and denounce the role our Police Department played in Austin’s lynching, both through our action and our inaction,” Chief Dekmar told a crowd at a traditionally African-American church. “And for that, I’m profoundly sorry. It should never have happened.”