November 16, 1972
Two black students at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (one of the country's largest all-black colleges), were killed during a confrontation between black students and law enforcement officers. After the incident, police officials denied that their men had fired the fatal shots. Some suggested that the gunfire might have been accidental, but spokespersons for the students charged that the police had fired on purpose.
The Louisiana state government put together a biracial committee consisting of police officers, university administrators, students, elected officials, and private citizens to investigate the shootings. Some blacks did not trust the official committee, however. They promised to assemble a group of their own to look into the incident.