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In violation of Texas law, the teenagers were not given life vests and it was later revealed that one of them could not swim. The boat could not handle the combined weight and quickly capsized. The White officers swam to shore while the three teenagers drowned.

The Black officer, who could not swim either, had to be rescued. Eyewitnesses at the time say they saw the teenagers hands bound together when the boat pulled away. No evidence has yet been revealed to prove this theory, but it has remained in question ever since. An all-white jury in Dallas acquitted the Limestone County officers, who were charged with negligent homicide, during an explosive trial on April 17, 1982.

Coleman noted in his article that he attempted to interview all the officers in 1998 but Drummond was the only one to speak with him. Drummond claims he tried to rescue one of the boys and called the incident a tragic accident.

(Photo: Lennette/Trip Advisor)

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Little Known Black History Fact: Juneteenth Drowning At Lake Mexia  was originally published on

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