Today in Groveland, Florida, a memorial will be dedicated to the Groveland Four, the four men tortured, murdered, and wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn't commit. This event would not be happening but for the tireless efforts of my son Josh Venkataraman, who spent 4 years working to obtain posthumous pardons for the men.
Transcribed on the plaque: “In July 1949, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd, Charles Greenlee and Ernest Thomas — known collectively as the ‘Groveland Four’ — were accused of crimes in Lake County,” the text begins. “Eyewitness accounts, records, and subsequent investigations revealed that these men were subjected to racially motivated oppression and were never given the opportunity to legitimately defend themselves in a court of law.”
To read about Josh's incredible journey, check out our new book--Accidental Activist: Justice for the Groveland Four.