On January 31, 1964, the night before he was set to move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Louis Allen was ambushed outside his property in Liberty, Mississippi and shot twice in the face with a shotgun.
He died almost instantly. Mr. Allen was the victim of racially motivated violence in a system where he was offered no protection by the rule of law.
Several years before, in September 1961, a local white state legislator named E.H. Hurst had shot and killed Herbert Lee in an Amite County, Mississippi, cotton gin in front of several eyewitnesses. Mr. Lee was a member of the Amite County, Mississippi, NAACP and worked with Bob Moses of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) on a voter registration drive. Mr. Allen witnessed the murder and was initially coerced into saying that E.H. Hurst killed Herbert Lee in self-defense; he later recanted and told the FBI that Mr. Hurst had shot Lee for registering black voters.