HOUSTON (KIAH) — It was one of the most racially charged trials in U.S. History. Around 110 Black soldiers with the all-black 24th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army, were convicted, 19 were executed, and 63 were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1917.
Now, more than 106 years later, the soldiers’ convictions have been overturned.
After years of discussions and work by family, historians, lawyers and others, and years of investigations, the U.S. Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth came to a decision, to change what the Army fells was something that should not have happened. Secretary Wormuth says in a statement that “The move marks the Army’s Acknowledgement of past mistakes and sets the record straight.”
The “Houston Race Riot of 1917”, also known as the “Camp Logan Mutiny”, happened on August 23, 1917. Following an incident where police officers in Houston arrested and assaulted some black soldiers, many of their comrades mutinied and marched to Houston, where they opened fire and killed eleven civilians and five policemen. Five soldiers were also killed, some by friendly fire.
The incident occurred within a climate of overt hostility towards the all-black regiment from members of the predominately all-white community. 118 soldiers were tried in three court martials.
Now, the Army has overturned all of the convictions.