Prinest McCann

Photo of Prinest McCann. Courtesy of the Archive.
Photo of Prinest McCann. Courtesy of the Archive.

Location: Mobile County, Alabama

Age: 23

Year: 1945

Prinest McCann, 23, was a truck driver and WWII veteran. He was killed by police officer Melvin Porter in Mobile County, Alabama, in 1945.

McCann was walking to the grocery store to buy eggs and stopped to observe a dice game.

Porter and another police officer, Patrick Gibney, drove up to McCann and shot him twice in the head from their car window.

Porter later alleged that McCann had resisted arrest and attacked him.

The FBI opened an investigation into the murder but closed the case citing insufficient evidence to overcome Porter’s claim of self-defense.

For more information, search CRRJ’s archive.

Read more about McCann’s death on the Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive

About the Archive

The Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive houses case files and documents for more than 1,000 cases of racial homicides in the Jim Crow South. Co-founded by Melissa Nobles, professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Margaret Burnham, CRRJ director and professor of law at Northeastern, these uncovered stories highlight how violence affected lives, defined legal rights and shaped politics between 1930 and 1954.

Documents relating to McCann's death

Death Certificate of Prinest McCann, Alabama, Center for Health Statistics, filed July 9, 1945.

Death certificate of Prinest McCann, Alabama. Courtesy of the Archive.
For newspaper reports, advocacy group documents and more, search our archive.
Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive

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