AUGUSTA, Georgia (WJBF) – The Department of Justice is re-opening the 1970 Augusta Riot Cold Case.
According to the 1970 Augusta Riot Observance Committee, the DOJ is actively investigating the killings of Charles Oatman and the Augusta Six.
According to the press release, the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, which was sponsored by the late Representative John Lewis, established the Cold Case Initiative to investigate unsolved killings from the Civil Rights era.
Oatman, who was a Black and mentally challenged and jailed in Augusta for months, died on May 9th, 1970.
However, all-White juries convicted two Black teenagers in Charles Oatman’s death while two White police officers were charged with excessive force yet they were acquitted.
The belief that the White police officers were the ones behind Oatman’s death began what is now known as the Augusta riots.
A White police officer was acquitted in the shooting deaths of six Black men who were shot and killed during those riots.
The riots lasted from May 10th to the morning of May 12th.
The 1970 Augusta Riot Observance Committee states that they strive to cultivate awareness, recovery, and justice for the community through education, conversation, and creative experiences.
To watch raw video of the 1970 Augusta Riot, you can watch below: