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Two Marshals Blame Gov. Barnett for Mississippi Violence

Oct. 8, 1962 - Two Federal deputy marshals, just back from Oxford, Miss., said today that Governor Ross R. Barnett and the Mississippi state police deserved the blame for last week’s riots at the University of Mississippi over the admission of James H. Meredith, a Negro. James McKeigue and Richard Reid, among the 250 marshals on the campus during the outbreak, called it a bitter and unnecessary experience, “prompted and sanctioned by the Governor and his state police.” “Those students and outsiders weren’t just plain citizens protesting Meredith’s enrollment,” Mr. McKeigue said today in Chicago. “It was bigger than that. They were organized ruffians, prepared and equipped for battle. Barnett and his state cops spurred them on.” Mr. Reid suffered shotgun wounds in his ear, arm, back, and hip. His helmet was struck by a .22-caliber bullet and will be used in evidence when the Government prosecutes some of the rioters. The two marshals said the state police did nothing to stop the riots, but had occasionally admonished students for slashing tires or setting fire to Army trucks. When the marshals fired their first volley of tear gas, two hours after students had begun to throw bricks and bottles, the police left after blaming the riot on the marshals, Mr. McKeigue reported.


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