Murder of Oneal Moore

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Oneal Moore (1931- 1965) was the first black deputy sheriff for the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office in Varnado, Louisiana. He was a 34-year-old Army veteran, and he had a wife and four daughters.

He was murdered by alleged members of the Ku Klux Klan in a drive-by shooting on Wednesday, June 2, 1965. He was driving home from work, when a pickup truck pulled up alongside. An occupant in the truck shot at Moore and his partner, Creed Rogers, another African-American deputy sheriff. Rogers survived the shooting with injuries, and broadcast a description of the pickup truck on the police radio. Moore had been receiving threats since joining the force, but stayed on the job. Rogers completed a career in law enforcement.

Two suspects in the shooting were arrested in Mississippi not long afterward. One was Ernest Ray McElveen, a known white supremacist. The police filed no charges due to a lack of evidence and witnesses. The cold case was reopened in a new investigation by the FBI in 1990, 2001, and 2007, but they did not bring indictments.[1] McElveen, the prime suspect in the case, died in 2003.

The Deacons for Defense and Justice, an African-American group organized in Louisiana and elsewhere in the South to protect civil rights workers by armed defense, provided protection and support for Moore's widow.[2]

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