Monday, May 04, 2009

Remember Kent State: 1970-2009

At least 54 shots were fired into an unarmed crowd by Troop G of the National Guard at Taylor Hall for approximately 13 seconds (U.S. Justice Department, July 1970 report on the Kent State University shootings).

Some National Guardsmen had to be physically restrained from continuing to fire their weapons (U.S. Justice Department, 1970).

Sergeant Robert James of Company A assumed he'd been given an order to shoot, so he fired once in the air. When he saw Guardsmen actually firing into the unarmed crowd, he ejected his remaining seven shells so he would not fire any more (U.S. Justice Department, 1970).

Sergeant Richard Love of Company C fired once in the air, then saw others firing into the crowds; he said he "could not believe" that the others were shooting into the crowd, so he lowered his weapon (U.S. Justice Department, 1970).

The July 1970 Justice Department report concludes: "the claim by the National Guard that their lives were endangered by the students was fabricated subsequent to the event."

A National Guardsman confessed that his life "was not in danger" and that "he fired indiscriminately into the crowd" (U.S. Justice Department, 1970).

This Guardsman "further stated that the Guardsmen had gotten together after the shooting and decided to fabricate the story that they were in danger of serious bodily harm or death from the students" (U.S. Justice Department, 1970).

This Guardsman said: "The guys have been saying that we got to get together and stick to the same story. That it was our lives or them, a matter of survival" (U.S. Justice Department, 1970).

"In all, only two [students] were shot from the front. Seven students were shot from the side and four were shot from the rear" (U.S. Justice Department, 1970).

"When the firing began, many students began running; others hit the ground" (U.S. Justice Department, 1970).

"The indiscriminate firing of rifles into a crowd of students and the deaths that followed were unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable" (U.S. Justice Department, 1970).

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