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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Nate Davis, February 6, 2001. Interview K-0538. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

White gang murder

In this excerpt, Davis remembers when a motorcycle gang called the Storm Troopers killed his first cousin, James Lewis (possibly referred to in another interview as James Cates), on the campus of the University of North Carolina. Lewis apparently lay unaided for a long time until a police officer took him to the hospital, and the gang members were found not guilty. Fire bombings followed.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Nate Davis, February 6, 2001. Interview K-0538. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

[Portion of interview excised.] RG: The Storm Troopers were what, a motorcycle gang? ND: Yeah, and well my cousin, my first cousin, James Lewis, got killed. Matter of fact, when he got stabbed, right there at the Pit, um, I was working down at the Student Union, and there was another guy working there and I knew where he kept his car keys, I ran inside and got his car keys, left there, I went down Johnson Street were his mom lived, told her that he had got stabbed, left there, went on Graham Street to his grandma's house, told her, went back down and he was still like laying there. RG: Was he alive? ND: Um, I don't know, when I got back. RG: So no one called the rescue, no one took him to the hospital? ND: At that time, I feel like that um, the campus police were more concerned about getting the motorcycle gang members away. RG: Rather than saving his life. ND: Yes, uh-huh. RG: Could they have, uh— ND: The only thing I remember, when I went back, there was a, right now today I don't remember who it was but I think I know who it was, there was a Chapel Hill police officer that came, and he said well how long has he been laying here, and somebody told him, and he picked him up and put him in his police car and took him to the hospital. So I don't know if he could have survived if they had gotten him there a little bit quicker, or what. I'm pretty sure he was still alive, because if he had not been alive, I don't think the officer would have moved him. RG: And did anybody get prosecuted for that murder? ND: No, they, it went to trial, everybody was found not guilty. Myself and a couple other guys was right there and saw what happened, they called witnesses that really was not there, involved in the fight or knew what was going on. I was told that the reason I was not called as a witness was because we was cousins, you know, and so they found them not guilty; and then, after the trial there was demonstrations, the fire bombings in Chapel Hill and things like that.