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In 1949, a 17-year-old white woman and her estranged husband told police that she’d been kidnapped and raped by four black men when their car broke down outside Groveland, Fla. Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall arrested Charles Greenlee and Army veterans Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin even though none of them were in Groveland at the time of the alleged crime. Ernest Thomas escaped but was murdered two days later by a posse of 1000 white men who shot him 400 times while he slept under a tree. The state suppressed the testimony of a doctor’s exam showing no evidence that Ms Padgett was even raped. The surviving three men were then convicted by all-white juries. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a retrial in 1951. Seven months later, while the sheriff was taking Mr Shepherd and Mr Irvin to a court hearing, he pulled over and shot the two handcuffed men on the side of the road. Mr Shepherd died but Mr Irvin pretended to be dead, miraculously surviving even though the ambulance refused to transport him because he was black. The sheriff said they had tried to escape but Mr Irvin said they were shot while they were handcuffed to each other and lying on the ground. Mr Irvin was convicted again and given another death sentence. On Jan 11, 2019, Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd and Ernest Thomas were pardoned by the governor of Florida. #BlackHistoryMonth #APeoplesJourney #grovelandfour

 

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By wmb3331

Isaiah Israel is a graduate of the University of Hawaii Pacific with a bachelors in Psychology and a deep love for history in which he believes that when you know the past you can understand the present and predict the future course of man and mankind and is the author of the best selling ebook The White Man's Burden Of Lies and Deceit.

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