Killing of Eleanor Rush in North Carolina in 1954


Case summary

Eleanor Rush (1937-1954) was killed by prison guards in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina. Seventeen at the time, Rush, who was being held in solitary confinement, and other prisoners were protesting conditions, including a lack of food. Guards claimed Rush was yelling and swearing. In the process of gagging and restraining her, the guards inflicted fatal spinal injuries. The State Industrial Commission ruled that the prison officials were negligent and awarded Rush’s estate $3,000. The award was upheld by the North Carolina Supreme Court. An essay on this case, researched and authored by a CRRJ student, is available on request.


Alleged perpetrators/other named individuals:
Perpetrator group type: police

Date of incident: 1954-08-20
Location: Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina
Location type: carceral location
Allegation against victim: attacking a prison matron; protesting the lack of food

Coroner process
Coroner/inquest: yes
Finding of no legal responsibility: yes

Criminal process
Arrest: [ ]
Charge/indictment/information: [ ]
Grand jury: [ ]
Trial: [ ]
Conviction: [ ]
Sentence: [ ]

FBI case ID:

Charlotte 44-303

DOJ case ID:


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