Willie Earle, a black man in his mid twenties, got picked up on a murder charge. The day before, someone—it could have been Earle, but that doesn’t matter—robbed a cab driver and stabbed him to death.
By the evening of Earle’s first day in the county jail, a large crowd of about fifty men, mostly cab drivers, all white, gathered outside. They demanded Earle be handed over to them. He was. The crowd then lynched Earle, beating, stabbing and shooting him. This was 1947. Greenville, South Carolina.