200 Blacks in Georgia protest the shooting of Willie Gene Carraker by white Police Chief Doug Watson.
1974 (Jul 5)
Approximately 200 Blacks marched about seven miles along Highway 41 in Talbot County, Georgia, to protest the shooting of a young Black man by the white police chief of Woodland. Willie Gene Carraker, a twenty-five year-old Black resident of Woodland, died from gunshot wounds on June 29, 1974. The Black man's family accused Police Chief Doug Watson of aggravated assault and murder in the slaying of Carraker. These charges were subsequently dismissed by a local Justice of the Peace. In the march on July 5th, Black protesters, led by SCLC field secretary Tyrone Brooks, demanded the prosecution and removal of the chief. During the demonstration Brooks told the crowd: “We are sick and tired of white folks shooting down our young men every weekend. We are sick and tired of being treated like second class citizens.” Woodland city attorney George R. Jacobs defended the dismissal of charges against Chief Watson and advised that the matter be considered by the county grand jury in November, or by a specially called grand jury.