Deputy Sheriff Ralph Dwayne Wilder

Deputy Sheriff Ralph Dwayne Wilder

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana

End of Watch Monday, January 10, 1972

Ralph Dwayne Wilder

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.

Bio

  • Age 27
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Apprehended

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