Justice For Alfred Wright! Petition Inside!
Sabine County is just a little ole’ place in the great big state of Texas. The population is slightly over 10,000 with almost 90% of the citizens being White and only 9% being Black. Over more than half of the residents are married, with many of the population making less than $25,000 a year.
Many would believe this county is no more or no less than any other little small Southern county, and they would be right, including the outright racism that usually goes with these small areas.
The cities in and neighboring Sabine County can only be defined and compared to modern day Sundown Towns, meaning if you are Black they better not catch you after sundown in their town or else. The or else part is never good, and can mean death.
In 1989 the county seat police department for Hemphill, TX had no Blacks on the force. Christmas afternoon that same year, Loyal Garner, Jr. who was accompanied by his brothers Alton and Johnnie Maxie drove to pick up a vehicle. The brothers all who were black were arrested on drunk driving charges and taken to Sabine County Jail.
At the jail Loyal Garner, Jr. was severely beaten and bludgeoned to death; he succumbed to his wounds three days later in a local hospital. The wounds sustained by Garner were not by fellow inmates but by three white police officers, Thomas Ladner, James Hyden, and Billy Ray Horn.
All three were later found guilty of the murder of Garner by an all-White jury. Although convicted for the murder of Garner the three officers, which included the police chief of Hemphill, Ladner, were found not guilty of civil rights violations. Not surprising as the federal hate crime law was not expanded until 2009, whereas someone could be convicted of a federal hate crime and said victim did not have to be participating in a federally protected activity such as voting, etc.