Interview with Dave Dennis
QUESTION 18
INTERVIEWER:

SORRY, I'M GOING TO HAVE TO CUT YOU RIGHT HEREI'D LIKE TO PICK UP THAT MARCH AND UM, THAT INCIDENT WHEN JOHN DOAR DOES STEP, STEP OUT IN BETWEEN, UM, BEGIN TO TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED FROM YOUR VANTAGE POINT.

Dave Dennis:

Yeah as the uh, the march began for Medgar Evers' funeral, the uh, there was a violent reaction, the people of the of street people, you might call them, whatever you want, is that people who had not expressed themselves before because the fact is that they had not, they, uh, did not believe and neither were they committed to our philosophy and at that time decided to express themselves in a way. Uh, John Doar was at that time with the Justice Department and very much involved. He was one of the few people that we found in the Justice Department and felt they had a very strong commitment, real commitment himself, to make the government to respond in a positive manner to the needs that existed there. He made a genuine effort to uh, do what he could to stop, as he put it, as he felt to stop the violence, because he felt that what was gonna happen here was mass slaughter. The police department and others came there they, they actually antagonized the people. They were there in uh full battalion gear and everything else is with the riot thick uh armor on and guns and everything else is and they were being pretty rough with the people on the street. And the people just said we're not gonna take that, this is a funeral of our leader and here they are, you know, harassing us and the white folk killed him.** And that started a violent reaction and John Doar attempted to stop it, but at one point is, as he round the corner a black guy, who it just so happened I knew came around with a rifle and just put it right on him and he was about to kill him, I think John Doar's days were numbered at that time, and I was able to stop that you know but uh he was he didn't stop him I mean he at that time just said thank you and continued to try to he grabbed, took a bullhorn from one of the police officers and uh and got the crowd more under control, that was very much responsible for a lot of the controlling that existed at that time.