52 Years Ago, Police Shot and Killed 3 Black Students at a South Carolina Protest, Pinning the Blame on an 'Outside Agitator'Breaking News
tags: civil rights, Police, South Carolina, Orangeburg
On Feb. 8, 1968, law enforcement officers shot and killed three Black students on the then-South Carolina State College campus in Orangeburg.
Known as the "Orangeburg Massacre," it remains one of the most violent moments of the civil rights movement, according to the History Channel. But it also remains one of the least publicized, and many of the details surrounding the events of that night are still cloudy. It received minimal media attention at the time, in part likely due to the victims being Black and also due to a news cycle dominated by war and political events of the year.
The white officers were later acquitted after citing self-defense — despite a lack of evidence supporting that claim — and the blame was pinned on an "outside agitator," a seasoned activist and pioneer of the civil rights movement named Cleveland Sellers, who was later exonerated and officially pardoned in 1993.
South Carolina to this day has not launched an official state investigation into the events that unfolded that night.
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