May 4 special to run tonight

Christina Stavale

Nat Geo program to feature witness interviews at 8 p.m.

A documentary examining the May 4 shootings will premiere at 8 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

Laura Davis, associate provost for planning and academic resource management, was a student at Kent State when the shootings happened in 1970, and was interviewed for the documentary.

She said she talked about her experiences on campus as well as some more general things.

Davis said the producers for the documentary were on campus a few days at the beginning of last May, and she said she’s not sure what to expect from the documentary.

“It’s hard to say,” she said. “I know they did some research in the archives. They talked to a broad range of people.”

One of the people, she said, was Charles Fassinger, now retired, who was the highest-ranking uniformed officer who was on the hill.

“I’m curious to see what angle they took and how they use the information from the sources,” Davis said.

Jerry M. Lewis, another witness to the shootings and an emeritus professor of sociology, was also interviewed for the documentary. Over the summer, he said he was permitted to see four pages of the script and found five errors.

“They may have been corrected,” he said. “This was several months ago.”

To those who were there on that day and to those interested in the happenings, Lewis said accuracy is of utmost importance.

“When I get contacted by young people, it’s always about something they saw on television,” he said, “so it’s very important to be accurate.”

The documentary was produced by an organization in Los Angeles called Creative Differences, Lewis said.

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].