Deputy Sheriff Ralph G. Hancock

Deputy Sheriff Ralph G. Hancock

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana

End of Watch Monday, January 10, 1972

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Ralph G. Hancock

Deputy Sheriff Ralph Hancock and Deputy Sheriff Ralph Dwayne Wilder 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 Hancock had served with the agency for seven years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

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

Most Recent Reflection

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47 years ago today, my mom, dad, sister and I boarded a small single engine aircraft for a short flight to Hammond, La. and back so my dad could log in a few more flight hours as well as checking out this aircraft he was considering to purchase. While we were waiting to land back at Ryan Airport, the door latch popped and the door swung open causing us to make an emergency landing. Cross winds caused a one wheel crooked landing but dad managed to bring us down safely. That was the last family outing. The following day Jan 10, 1972 we all said our goodbyes and I love you's as my sister and I headed off to school and dad left for work. Family dynamics changed later that day. You are missed and will always be my hero, daddy!!! You are forever in my heart!

Patrick D Hancock

January 9, 2019

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