Grantee finds new evidence that could revive probe of 58-year-old police killing of a Black man

Emzie Wilder and his daughter Shedonna Wilder-Martin stand outside his home in Shreveport, Louisiana.

In 1965, Emzie Wilder’s brother, John Wesley Wilder, was shot and killed by police officer Edward Alton Nugent in Ruston, Louisiana. Today Emzie is 92 years old. Nugent is 84 and has never been held accountable. Reporter Ben Greenberg, with support from the Fund and working with Type Investigations, uncovered evidence that the shooting was unprovoked. For a new podcast from LWC Studios, Greenberg created the episode “A Death Ruled ‘Justifiable’: The Killing of John Wesley Wilder.” Greenberg found sworn statements from eyewitnesses in an archive that had been apparently overlooked or ignored by the FBI and also identified a new eyewitness – all of whom support claims that the shooting was unprovoked. A former chief of the FBI civil rights unit said on the podcast that the new evidence should prompt the Justice Department to reopen the case.