Caddo Commissioners discussed a couple of resolutions to address racism in our region. Commissioner Stormy Gage Watts proposed a measure to offer a public apology for lynchings and systemic racism of the past.

Parish of Caddo
Parish of Caddo

Commissioner Lyndon Johnson also proposed a measure to cut down a tree on the Milam Street side of the Caddo Courthouse that was used for lynchings.

Gage Watts says it is time to apologize for the many lynching's that happened in the parish that resulted in our nickname as "bloody Caddo". Johnson urged his colleagues to at least move his resolution forward to get a bid for cutting down the tree. But only Johnson, Gage Watts and Mario Chavez voted to move this measure forward for discussion.

Chavez told his colleagues he voted for it so he could have time to get input from his constituents. He also encouraged the Commission to look for ways to educate the public about the history of what happened in Caddo.

Gage Watts says the goal of this resolution is to promote healing in Caddo Parish. She says “as we search for our identity, it is imperative we acknowledge from our hurtful past.”

She says from 1896 to 1937 there were lynchings in Caddo Parish. And in 1942 electrocutions began.

She says from the D’Artois era from 1952 to 1977 and from 1984 to 2013 there were wrongly convicted innocent men, collectively, who spent 33 years on death row.

She says this is an attempt for us to apologize and to move forward on making it right.

John Paul Young asked to send these measures to committee to take a closer look at how the leaders should address this history.

Johnson says "people were wrong for years and if the roles were reversed you wouldn’t like it."

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