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Deputy Sheriff Ralph Dwayne Wilder | East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana

Deputy Sheriff

Ralph Dwayne Wilder

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana

End of Watch: Monday, January 10, 1972

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 27

Tour: 4 years

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 1/10/1972

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Suspect: Apprehended

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Deputy Sheriff Wilder and Deputy Sheriff Ralph G. Hancock were shot and killed during a civil rights demonstration that turned into a riot on North Boulevard in downtown Baton Rouge.

Police converged on the demonstration when three newsmen were attacked. A single shot was fired from an unknown person followed by a fierce gun battle between demonstrators and police. Two demonstrators were killed and 34 others were injured. Several suspects were arrested.

Eventually 13 suspects were charged in connection with Deputy Wilder's and Deputy Hancock's murder. On May 8th, 1973, nine suspects were convicted of inciting a riot and participating in a riot in which death occurred. They were each sentenced to 21 years in prison. On March 31st, 1975, the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned their convictions stating that they could not and did not receive a fair trial in Baton Rouge.

After the trial of the 13 suspects was over, the key witness in the trial received several death threats. On June 13th, 1974, he was found shot to death outside his office in Baton Rouge.

Deputy Wilder was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office for four years. He was survived by his wife.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Deputy Sheriff Ralph G. Hancock
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana
End of Watch: Monday, January 10, 1972
Cause: Gunfire

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Most Recent Reflection

DWAYNE AND I LIVED AS APARTMENT SECURITY AND WERE VERY GOOD FRIENDS IN THE COMPLEX AND ON AND OFF DUTY. WAS A SAD DAY FOR ME; AT THE TIME I WAS WORKING IN THE FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT!! LOVE YOU BROTHER!!

DETECTIVE, JUVENILE DIVISION 1969
EAST BATON ROUGE SHERIFF
May 14, 2014

 

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