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Kent State Audio Tape Released

Kent_State_Shootings

By THOMAS J. SHEERAN
Associated Press Writer

Posted: Tues, May 1, 2007

Survivors of the National Guard shooting that killed four Kent State University students during an anti-war rally released an audio tape Tuesday that they said includes a military order to fire on the demonstrators.

"The evidence speaks for itself," said Alan Canfora, 58, one of nine students wounded during the 1970 shooting.

Canfora released two versions of a 20-second clip - the original and an amplified version - in which he says a Guard officer issues the command, "Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!"

The tape begins with static in the background and then screams from protesters. The word "point" can be heard followed by the sound of shots being fired. There is no indication on the tape of who said the word.

After the shooting, the FBI investigated whether an order had been given to fire, and said it could only speculate. One theory was that a Guardsman panicked or fired intentionally at a student and that others fired when they heard the shot.

The clash followed several days of Vietnam War protests. Four years later, eight Guardsmen were acquitted of federal civil rights charges.

The government should analyze the recording using new technology, Canfora said. An FBI spokesman has said the agency will look into any new inquiry about the shootings.

Canfora said he recently requested a copy of the nearly 30-minute tape from Yale University, where a government copy has been stored in an archive.

The reel-to-reel audio recording was made by a student who placed a microphone at a windowsill of his dormitory, Canfora said.