Two Black students died in a battle between students and police for control of the administration building at the University of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Thursday (16 November).
GV Students outside administration building
SV Armed police advance across grass
SV PAN Tear gas exploding
GV Students running
GV Students running from tear gas (a students is seen to fall at 18 5.5 29)
LV Two students lying on ground
SV One student carried into ambulance
SV One student still lying on ground
SV Other students leaving admin. building (3 shots)
SCU Police directing students
CU & SV Students walking past bloodstains
"According to some witnesses, and later according to Governor Edwin Edwards, who viewed film of the incident, someone in the crowd of students threw something at the police. That's when police began firing teargas and the students started running."
"Suddenly the last two students in the crowd fell. Reports indicate that both of the students were hit by shotgun pellets. One of them has been identified as 20-year-old Denver Smith of New Road, Louisiana. The other is still unidentified. Officials said one student died instantly at the scene the other died on the operating table in the hospital. The sheriff of fast Baton Rouge Paris denied that any of his men fired any gunshots. He said they fired nothing but tear-gas. Let this afternoon the parish corner confirmed that two victims died of buckshot wounds. There is no explanation where the shots came from or who fired them. The shocked students who remained in the administration building let on police orders. Late this afternoon an unexplained fire broke out in the administration building. Governor Edwards ordered national guard troops into the area in hope of redeeming further trouble and has declared a state of emergency in the parish. He has also closed the school until after the Thanksgiving Holiday."
Many black students occupied part of Baton Rouge university in the United States on Thursday.
Armed police were called in, and at first formed a line, giving the students five minutes of disperse.
Then tear gas started exploding - the police said afterwards a student had thrown something at them.
Two students were left behind. They had been shot.
One was already dead. The other was taken to hospital but died in the operating theatre. What happened is uncertain. The police claimed they used nothing but tear-gas.
As the other students, numbed by the killings, ended their occupation, na inquiry began. The local coroner said the men died from shotgun wounds.
The police still denied firing anything but teargas.
Whatever the outcome of the inquiry, the result of the incident has been descried by a black leader as a giant step backwards.
Initials ESP/2154 ESP/2211
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Background: Two Black students died in a battle between students and police for control of the administration building at the University of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Thursday (16 November).
Sheriff Al Amiss of Baton Rouge stated afterwards that his men did not fire any shots, and said two shots had been fired in the crowd. He also claimed that students hurled fragmentation bombs at police as will as throwing back tear gas canisters.
After the ten-minute flare-up in which the two men died, the Mayor of Baton Rouge, W.W. Dumas, said: "Two have been shot and there may be more if necessary. We are going to take back the administration building at any cost."
Coroner Hypolite Landry said the victims had apparently been shot, and one had been badly trampled. Militant students at the mainly-black university had boycotted classes for two weeks in a campaign to sack the principal, have more control over administration, and better living facilities. A section of the 8,400 students occupied the administration building following the collapse of a similar sit-in at New Orleans university. But they quickly capitulated after the battle that left two of their friends dead.