Eugene G. McCain

Eugene McCain served as chief of the City of Danville Police Department in 1963 and oversaw the mass arrests of black civil rights demonstrators. McCain's tactics were a mixture of restraint and force. McCain tried approaches similar to those demonstrated by Sheriff Laurie Pritchett in Albany, arresting hundreds of protesters in Danville for violating Judge Archibald Aiken's injunction against public demonstrations. McCain, however, also deputized garbage collectors and others, gave them nightsticks and fire hoses, and ordered them to "let 'em have it" on the night of June 10, 1963. Later in the summer, McCain also arrested Reverend Lendell W. Chase in the middle of the night, bringing him to the station in his bathrobe and slippers and on another occasion sent his men into the High Street Baptist Church to arrest DCPA and SNCC organizers. McCain was consistently concerned about the media and its role in the protests. He held NBC television reporters for questioning, smashed cameras, and photographed all participants in the demonstrations to record their involvement.