The Civil Rights Lawyer in the South
This is Tom Harlan and I have around the table with me three lawyers from the NAACP National Legal Defense and Educational Fund incorporated that in on is the INC fund. They are Leroy Clark who has been working in St. Augustine Charles Jones who's been working in Selma Alabama and Mel Zar who's been working in Jackson Mississippi. They have all functioned with the fund in the south. I'd like to first ask Mr. Clark to tell us something about the problems of defending people down in St. Augustine. Well the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. It is a staff of 12 15 full time lawyers. And it's our function to provide legal protection when persons are either
being deprived of some right on the basis of color or they are involved in civil rights demonstrations which are an attempt to communicate to the community their problems connected with race. The St. Augustine situation developed approximately a year ago. There was a young there was only one negro professional in the town. Young dentist Dr. Robert Hammond and he kind of organized the community under the auspices of the NAACP. It's a small community some 14000 people all told only four or 5000 engross most of them either unemployed or in service capacities. St. Augustine is a tourist center. They petitioned the city to desegregate its public
facilities. They were. Libraries schools most of the public facilities and public employment was segregated all private restaurants hotels motels were completely close negro. They were permitted to work in these places or to get some sort of back to a service but basically they were excluded so that they began and petition the city government asking for by a committee they received either silence or being ignored or flat nose. The mayor on a number of businesses made statements that segregation was the only right way for the city to function and he was he had no intention of getting together a parish committee. They then begin demonstrating they began holding meetings in public parks and riding outside person and they began taking
establishment. They began writing to organizations that they thought might come to St. Augustine on tourist business. This is all under the NAACP. That's correct. About this time. There were last summer some 95 arrests 28 people were arrested in the City Park which is kind of become the focal point of most of the St. Augustine problems it's called the old slave market. On what grounds were these arrests they were arrested for holding a meeting without a permit. The evidence which I had was that they had sought a permit on it on a number of occasions and were refused or ignored and sent to various officials who each tell them they could not get a permit. So then they went ahead and held a meeting anyway. Twenty eight persons were arrested in this park some 20 or 30 more persons were arrested in sit in on the shootings
six or seven people were arrested when they were handing out handbills protesting the city's policy. The most tragic situation which developed this time was that four juveniles were arrested in a sit in demonstration. The court ruled that they were not to be given the kinds of protections that adults were given ordinarily. And they were promptly sent away to the state for Metairie and to all of all of our efforts we had to no avail during this period they were held in jail for some six months. I think it's some sort of record in terms of. The incarceration for a sit in demonstration but the juvenile laws in a rather peculiar state at this point. And we did everything we could turn to the courts to get them out. Finally we had to get them out to the pardon situation because the state courts were just no mayo.
But all these kind of things kept the nigger community and from it they then petitioned Martin Luther King to come into the St. Augustine situation and bring some attention on the problem of segregation there. He sent in some of his staff members from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. And they. Attempted again to establish some sort of negotiation with the city. They were unsuccessful and this was around Easter when the Easter demonstrations began. This is Peabody the mother of the governor of Massachusetts. This part of the early demonstration is all told there were Easter down today some 600 persons arrested in sit in demonstrations. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund undertook the defense of all 600 persons
we have. And many as is attempted to get these matters out of the state courts which are extremely hostile and to get them into the federal courts I think that some of the other gentleman here could probably describe that in much better fashion than Savol than that no situation can currently then right. Quite naturally the usual kind of harassment or arrest or breach of the peace disorderly conduct. Perjured assault charges and we undertook the defense of all these cases on at least three of four or five occasions the past month we instituted action in federal courts. On one instances it was to stop police brutality in the jails. The civil rights demonstrators were being thrown out into the hot sun and in Florida at this time I think the temperature was
ranging between a 99 and 100 degrees. It put out hot sun and given water to drink little bread men and women with thrown in this pen together in a little small hole was dug in the ground and they were supposed to use this as of the train some 20 or 30 other persons was around and Solitaire in rooms eight by seven feet. They would put seven and eight put twenty to twenty five persons jammed them into the room. They all had to stand and take turns sleeping away so as to the suit in federal court to stop that kind of practice. At the same time the state courts began setting a very high bail. They set high bail because this will either drain the resources of the organization supporting the demonstration or it means if you can't meet bail that you are apt to stay in in jail while not
being able to get out. If you can't post the very high bail. We went into federal court and had a bail reduced after showing that bail in the sit in demonstrations were not set this amount or when white persons were arrested simply on simple misdemeanors that the bail was not set at this amount. When these cases came to trial first of all had any of us know we have managed to keep the cases from coming to trial. And I think that can be explained by someone and explaining what a petition for removal to federal court is. I think some of the gentleman had a lot of experience with that. They could explain it. We have also sought to require the governor of the state of Florida to put in a quick police protection. In many instances people were being openly beaten in the streets when they simply left the church and marched around this area called the
old slave market. Do we have a number of films taken by news media showing people just openly being attacked in the street and there was either no police present or police kind of just saunter over and shoot persons away. Making no arrests. We asked for police protection I think about this time the governor began to send in police forces to give a little bit more protection. The town was really one of open terrace homes which shot into Martin Luther King's cabin that he rented was shot in a tent. Luckily he had left the night before. There were a. Number of threats made on his life and on the life of other persons who were active in the demonstrations. Some of the actually the real butt of much of the violence were white persons who joined an eco community in their protest.
I saw in many instances these persons with patches in their head eyes blacked cut lips bruised bodies they were just set upon by white hoodlums in the street with all of you gentlemen agree that probably the butt of the white segregationist violence in the south is the white people who are allied with the negroes cause down there. I think you missed it. I think that white guy down there kind of something traders they get Stern a treat I think both are equally the object ball. I think it was clearly demonstrated in Tuscaloosa in one particular situation which I would call example it was a demonstration in April of this year some seven eight hundred negroes marched on the County Court building in Tuscaloosa
one of the only one of the persons who participated in that march was a white person. He was the only person arrested all of the seven or eight hundred who were marching at the time. I think there I think there is in small communities there's a distinct and special kind of fear by white persons against white persons who are participating and demonstrating on behalf of the interests of negroes in the communities. Now getting back to Mr. Clark would you care to add anything on the situation. Well we have. Subsequent to our attempt to keep these citizen cases coming to trial the Supreme Court of the United States decided one of the Cid in them said in cases that our office had supported this call Robinson versus state of Florida. And they indicated that in this case that a sit in them initiation
under the circumstances would prevail in Florida there were some state regulations requiring segregation in the restaurant that this kind of conviction must be reversed. We are now in the process of attempting not only to keep the city cases from coming to trial but to have thrown out altogether on the grounds that there's no basis for the prosecution since Green Court has handed down its decision in a case exactly like these sit on 600 cases quite naturally the state officials carry on their vendetta and they are attempting to press the prosecutions they pretty much. Ignore the pronouncements of the Supreme Court of the United States and we are now trying to get a federal court to require them in effect to give some recognition to the Supreme Court decision. That's about status things now.
Well we have very good geographical distribution among the civil rights areas of struggle in the south. Mr. Jones has been working a great deal in Alabama. I wonder if you could tell us some of the devices you use in order to defend civil rights cases. Certainly I think that the first thing you should hear and not accenting devices used are fairly specifically shaped to deal with problems related to communities where problems develop. And as a say in some situations you have. Federal district judges who are more or less sympathetic to the to the problems involved in the end of necessity for for effective and strong federal court action in other situations there the local customs and local
traditions are stronger. At the same time you find that the power of the federal court is not quite as it is not quite as available as it might might otherwise be. At any rate in most of the communities in Alabama the the the the merits to proceeding with most cases are rising out of sittings arising out of demonstrations of various kinds are most effectively handled in federal system. Let me stop you. It seems then that your main hole is sort of you're island of safety is the federal court system. How what seems to be a local violation a violation of a local ordinance. Can you have a change of venue and file for removal in the courts I think. I think the thing you quite out is is it probably goes right to the crux of the problem. In
effect the removal petition is a form of a change of venue although legally and technically it's not a change of venue. What the removal petition is designed to do is to actually transfer cases which are brought in the state system into the federal system that is to say the same parties are defendants and players the state prosecute and they prosecute state charges. But within the federal system and the reason why the removal was affected is because there is a there's a there's certainly a necessity that not only are the local considerations fully aired but also they are also the defenses which are and which arise out of constitutional protections. The specific US legal protections which surround the activities which we're of course gauge to protect that is to say the rights of free speech assembly the right.
To effectively protest grievances are given certain amount of constitutional protection federal constitutional protection and feel that these can best be aired within the federal system. Now that it's certain that. That there are state interests which which are the basis for charges. Very often specific statutes in or of dances are misconstrued and misapplied. And in the misapplication certainly deny and curtail the effective presentation of grievances. Only I think within the federal form that the proper consideration can be given to the to the double interests involved that is that of the state and that of the persons who are expressing grievances. Now in what way did you use these devices. You know all about me write this down then. Well in two ways essentially. One was the device which was alluded to already that's the device of removing
specific state charges. This is affected simply by lodging a removal petition in a federal district court clerk's office and certainly serving copies of this petition on state courts which are about to prosecute or about to conduct state charges. State trials. This transfers jurisdiction from the state system into the federal system and the states can then proceed to prosecute their cases in the federal courts. The second is ones to Clark referred to earlier as a device of the federal court injunction against state prosecutions or against state harassment. Of of persons who are engaged in CAS to see protected activity. Easily two principal devices used are. Well let me indicate I think something which has been said about the basis of one of the bases for a move to the federal court. Ah.
Part of the reason that we file these petitions is not simply to disrupt the state's control of the cases. I don't think a petition for removal would be the Judum it in New York for instance where you can get a fair hearing on whatever claims you're going to raise. But part of what we do in practically all of these situations is we can develop a previous situation such as in St. Augustine where we had some 95 cases handled in the state call it at the state courts and I'm going to give you a fair trial none of your defenses listen to the judge's hostiles who counsel bail is often set and is in a discriminatory manner. Police officials. Practice brutality on the defendants and frighten them out of the community so that what happens is is that the state courts to all intents and purposes have broken down as
courts. And so you go into the federal courts saying We're here because the this estate system is not a at all functioning. In order to simply prosecute cases in an orderly and justiciable fashion but that they are attempting simply to punish prison. I see. Now you seem to be saying that very rarely or perhaps never do any of these cases come up for real prosecution in a trial situation. Is this pretty much the case have there and have there been any real sentences handed down or is it just sort of waiting while you weild the states either drop the charges or you file the petitions for the federal courts. Well the bulk of cases are transferred and are not tried or haven't been tried. They're waiting either for a trial in the federal court or the disposition there or for some disposition in the federal court that is to say their retrains
for a remand back to the state court for trial or an appeal from some decision affecting the removal or the removed cases some cases of course are removed. Some are tried in state courts there are often demonstrators are prosecuted on on for four offenses which have no connection with civil rights activity and and very often. Some assistance is given in prosecution of these cases too in defense of these cases incidental incidental arrests will be made which will also involve civil rights demonstrations in these are tried. The removal was a more effective device when mass arrests are made of when they use a state process as is clearly in cutter vengeance to the expression of custom protected rights.
You know what is the situation now in Alabama. Let me break it down to two areas where I think the legal situation our legal problems are most critical of the first is Tuscaloosa which developed at least most seriously. Last began developing last spring and April the 2nd Alabama which is in south central part of the state where most of the activities developed. Yes. Since July in Tuscaloosa last spring the Tuscaloosa citizens for action committee which is an affiliate of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference first began to announce its formation began to petition state officials principally the board of revenue the county of Tuscaloosa
and the city commissioners and the mayor to inform them about certain areas of segregation in the city of Tuscaloosa. And those were segregation in the county court which led to the demonstration if you will as well as discrimination in restaurants and employment. There was no action taken. There were no opportunities to fully air these screening of these these grievances because the city simply refused to do conduct hearings to to bring to an issue these particular grievances. Consequently the committee began demonstrating the first demonstration was on April 23rd when the bulk of the people who were in began marches on the county court. Through the normal channel since it was fairly formally organized protest fairly
effectively Contro protest after the petitions were filed and after hearings had been refused applications for parade permits were filed. There was a review an oral review which was refused and the demonstration was announced. That informal reply was made by the police chief of the situation saying that demonstrations would not be considered courageous if they were conducted in in a space and. Fairly specifically enumerated way. This this occurred in no arrests except the one I mention was made. This was followed by a federal court injunction which we filed to remove discriminatory signs in the County Court building. In other words the tactic was the first to express a grievance about this particular situation and to follow it up with a federal court injunction action and an order was subsequently entered requiring the board
of revenue to remove the discriminatory silence. Then the committee began moving into other areas first began picketing certain specific stores who had unfair hiring and unfair commode ing policies. And it began in conducting sit ins in stores that you know work were discriminating at the time. This brought about a wave of reaction hostile reaction. Many of the demonstrators who were city again had mustard oil spilled on them by hostile whites and mustard oil. Not quite as serious as mustard gas still leaves burns still very pungent very powerful and still very damaging. There were people who were fired upon by air rifles and seriously injured by these people in the facility.
But specifically the the form of resistance was concentrated in and the color attacks of the of the Ku Klux Klan which has its national headquarters in Tuscaloosa and in its its national leader Robert Shelton. Who at this time and also subsequently began leading waves of of the resistance and violence and counter attack to that change actually began to occur in the city. The injunction was filed subsequently against the police chief and the city when because of these developing pressures police chiefs and police officers began retaliating against the demonstrations which had gotten underway and were fairly successfully being conducted.
Specifically I think the most critical one of these occasions was and was in June June 9th. When the police chief announce that his prior order which allowed demonstrations to be conducted within certain certain considerations has to Brest along the sidewalk obeying traffic signals. He had no further demonstrations could be conducted in the city. Of course this then presented the immediate problem of of stopping the momentum of the of the demonstrations themselves. Well the first demonstration was conducted on June 9 after a meeting in the church prior to its beginning. The police chief and the police officials police officers fairly effectively surrounded rounded up and herded back into the church. Some 500 demonstrators and
after bottling them up in the church. Simply launched tear gas missiles into the church supported by fire hoses and so forth and it caused a great outburst. After all there were several hundred people in London some 20 to tear gas missiles were fired into the church. Concentration in chaos was overwhelming. Well injunction suit filed this pacifically designed to prevent the prosecution of these cases after the persons were arrested coming out of it and designed to stop the physical violence. Police officers against demonstrators who were engaging in simply peaceful protest. This desire has been working in Jackson. I hear that it is now impossible for out-of-state lawyers to practice in Mississippi effectively is this true. Not necessarily if you really depends upon the specific locality involved
there are some counties in the north is a carcass dealt with has been difficult. However recently the Mississippi Bar Association passed a resolution in which it stated that it was the intent of the Bar Association have all those accused and given representation whether or not their cause was popular. And this is had some effect of easing pressure upon lawyers. Our policy was that if our boys were harassed which we believe this is Rassilon those cases in which the Warriors were barred from appearing would be removed to the federal court. A number of the state prosecutions in the lookout they swear words and counted were in fact move or I would think that the pressure seems to be easing for the
lawyers. In fact in July three noise lawyers went into Jackson in this court and were able to secure an acquittal in the state court judge of charges stemming from a typical harassment arrest. Perhaps you can give us an idea of the kind of cases you encountered in Mississippi most of them seen involve moving traffic violations because this is the easiest type of charge to support a harassment arrest and prosecution firmly drawing up battle lines in the city near the freedom workers Kopel workers and the police and the police are out to get the scope of work is in any way they can and what seems to be most convenient has to arrest them for some charge like speeding. We call that Schwerner and his company were
arrested for speeding. And this is generally the type of charge that they use of failing to signal something like that. There are no demonstrations in the city on the wrist for this kind of a very few demonstration cases. Chuck Jones pointed out earlier are basically good test case for moving to federal court because it more clearly meets the specifications for removal as set forth in the federal statute which governs you. The federal statute provides for a move on cases which are under color of authority of laws providing equal civil rights and color of light demonstration to such an activity. We had a case like this in Meridian where some young people were standing outside of five stories and telling people not to patronize those stories because of their discriminatory hiring practices. They were arrested for
disturbing the peace. Back to these very few people hadn't even stopped to hear the talk of the young people. But they were arrested. Do that case after a hearing before a federal judge. Cases where we may end it. But by this time the Civil Rights Act had been signed by the president was effective and Civil Rights Act provides for a right peel of women and orders and civil rights cases. So those were the first cases brought up to the Court of Appeals under the appeals section of the Civil Rights Act. No Rassmann the rest. I think one of the most important jobs that they fulfill is that they give the police a situation in which they can vent their hostility in the form of brutality. Is there much you that you can do about this police brutality and small Pyrrhic.
Theoretically there is. Civil Rights Acts provide for civil suit for damages against officers who abuse their authority and specifically to gauge and police brutality. The difficulty of course is obvious. These suits tried to force and you're right and the prospect of success is often thought to be very little. However these suits have been attempted in the survey and probably will be a pianist not so much because the plaintiffs believe that they can in fact securely but because of the reverse harassment by the police are. In fact they secure a council to defend the action and this is thought to Syria as a constraint upon their freedom. Brutality is just a blip in one season. Well I was. This is a sort of departure from what businesses are saying but I wanted to jump back into a brief contrast again from the situation to discussing Tuscaloosa
contrasting it with this. It really gives you a clearer focus on on what removal is like and how effective it can be and how it serves more effectively the kinds of specific purposes which we think it should. And in contrast to Tuscaloosa. You have little opportunity for a third day of police enforcement of any kinds of demonstrations for example as we talked in about Tuscaloosa. There had been some cooperation in terms of the police chief allowing demonstrations to be conducted at first with a certain certain defiant. Standards a certain way in Tuscaloosa or in Soma rather and no matter what kind of activities and gauged in if it smacks of
a demonstration if it smacks of protest. It's in violation of some kind of state law. Persons who are engaged in it are persons who even not being engaged in it but simply walking down the streets on occasions will very often be subject to arrest. And there are a number of cases about the first part of July where persons were simply doing very normal things in the community. One person was walking down the street. He was a civil rights worker and had been in Selma for for several months working with their voter registration project Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was arrested and allegedly for disturbing the peace is accused of whistling at a female white person and he himself was a male white fellow and thrown into jail. Another person is pushing their cars down the street were arrested for having an improper license tag on their cars for
persons who after the Civil Rights Bill had been signed into law went into a restaurant on a US highway. One that I think is fairly clearly covered to order malted milk. And the circumstances of their arrests it really demonstrates the reasonable ness of the conduct of state officials and community like Selma. The sheriff himself accompanied by deputies entered the restaurant shoved warrants into the hand of a person who appeared to be the restaurant manager and then simply after the warrants were signed. You notice the sequence the initiation is really being done by the state official itself. Four persons who were sitting there were then hustled out and carried off to jail. How's about I mean really severely severely hustled out beaten and
hit with cattle prods which is like another form of punishment in itself in advance of trial and put into jail. At the same time another day later some 60 demonstrators were arrested for being in the vicinity of the County Court building while grand jury session was supposedly in session. They were arrested for violating a local ordinance which had been passed in the previous fall. Local or ordinance on its faces is fairly clearly unconstitutional since its bans people being in the presence of the Clark County Court building while in session and it seemed to be designed to counteract what it been developing in Selma. Transportation of persons to the county building where the county registrars located to simply try to register the vote. Since this was a principal activity
being engaged in voter registration project and since the demonstration at that point was simply an announcement of this activity the arrests made in Mass. Persons who were who were some of whom were work beginning to picket were beginning to announce voter registration project. Others who were simply observers all ordered into jail indiscriminately. These cases were all removed I think very clearly and properly removed since it's quite clear that the ordinances involved either had no relationship to the conduct which these persons were arrested or where they did appear to be related to the car could not properly be draw to relate to this kind of conduct. So these these cases have been removed and I think it will probably be either disposed of in the federal system or are
disposed of similar to Fla.. I like to say something again about the police brutality and I think that's one of the most serious bankruptcy in leadership which is evidence in the south. I don't I'm often shocked. And the extent to which responsible persons in the community either encourage this police brutality or do not speak out against it. I don't think that police an ordinary policeman on the beat his face in her harassment arrest or beating of prisoners or what have you. Without the kind of backhanded acquiescence of the police chief or the mayor of a city or what have you. We had this demonstrated in Florida in St. Augustine. State police were at one point in brought in to say no the stain and were kind of going along with the leadership of the town of provided by the county sheriff.
Again not making any arrest of persons attacking demonstrators. Then when we filed our injunctions to require police protection the governor certainly got quite a fright. I didn't want to be under a federal court injunction with the possibility of being in contempt. The orders then came down for the state police to really begin to give some protection and they did this. They really began arresting persons who were beating present presence in St. Augustine trying to use public beaches. This is when persons resisted arrest they made assaults on this person so that the police enforcement tighten up and the hoodlums began to back away so that the responsibility really is at the top and that the lies with the people who are leaving the city or the state or what have you. I think we can also tell you something about our actions under the Civil Rights Bill. I know that I handle a
situation in St. Augustine's Mike and I know Chuck has had has had a situation develop in Alabama of refusals to comply with a new Civil Rights Act you know. Let me let me just just follow up on that from point a little further behind in Mr. Cardew saying that before the Civil Rights Act and Tuscaloosa as I indicated there had been police brutality. Not directly ordered but certainly not controlled either by responsible local officials in it. And as I say that this conflagration of the ninth was the clear example of unnecessary riot control which which in effect was nothing but but outright police brutality and violence had no relationship to Team
protection or control at all. After the injunction suit was filed it became quite clear that the police chief was afraid of B being under the under the constraints of it and doing the course of the proceedings in the injunction suit. File an affidavit in federal court stating that he would uphold the law from that point on. The case was generally continued this at the time and was continuing with the very day that they that the bill was passed or in the very area of the time that bill was passed. From that point on. The transition was was quite clear. He began giving a great deal and a very effective protection to members of the Citizens Committee Tuscaloosa citizens committee who began testing the bill by going into restaurants in the city of Tuscaloosa and at the beginning also the restaurants complied.
At the point of compliance in the point of police protection and with varying the number of incidents where where white crowds hostile crowds were dispersed. And I think the most dramatic instance was when Jack Colossus went into one of the theaters after apparently become making himself fairly unpopular to hostile whites. The crowd which was around the theater that it was was very effectively dispersed in the same way that they that the church group had been dispersed. This caused the reaction to set in a more intensified reaction by the by elements who have been fairly clearly identified as as being the local Klan group who began immediately putting pressure on the restaurant owners and they began then reversing their compliance and began excluding Negroes because they were serious only under the fairly effective pressures
of the hostile organized white groups. Then they in the government filed an action just this past week and joining a restaurant or two seeking injunction against the restaurants for refusing to comply with you. Good I can see we're running slightly short of time so I just like to get a quick consensus that you two gentlemen is this pretty much the state of the enforcement of the Civil Rights Act. Now the federal government is just starting to set injunctions or at least file for injunctions against the discriminatory practices. Actually the the NAACP Legal Defense Fund has been the most aggressive party in terms of requiring enforcement of civil rights. We handle a case coming out of the land at land and
which an injunction was granted against restaurants who refused to comply with the from the very outset. In San Augustine we had a similar situation as developed in Alabama. The local white who looms. I think some probably some Ku Klux Klan elements had threatened restaurant owners and some twenty two restaurants resegregate the legal defense one immediately filed an injunction so we secured an injunction against two of the restaurants and we think that sometime within the next day or so the injunction come down against. The other 18 or so restaurants we in our action also see again school cliques claim. And we've got a consent order from them not to interfere. Teacher I don't know to what extent the course so I see this is somewhat a resegregation that's what happened inside of us.
Now in Mississippi I suppose the situation is somewhat more back. The federal government has done very little to enforce the new civil rights act innocent thing the FBI you may read in the papers arrested three men would beat up a negro man for seeking service in a theater in green. That's about the only thing I know of that the government has done in Mississippi to force new Civil Rights Act. Of course a government task someone active in a city enforcing the civil rights act of 57. That is to bring suit and they have been successful at some levels securing injunctions against registrars who discriminate against Negroes in the registration process. But as far as implementing a new way the federal government. Thank you. I just like to ask one question before we close. And that is does
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- KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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- Pacifica Radio Archives (North Hollywood, California)
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- Thom Hurwitz interviews three lawyers working for the NAACP National Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (known colloquially as The Inc. Fund), whose function is "to provide legal protection when persons are ... deprived of some right on the basis of color or [when] they are involved in civil rights demonstrations which are an attempt to communicate to the community their problems connected with race," according to Leroy Clark, a Legal Defense Fund lawyer who had been working in St. Augustine, Florida. Charles Jones and Melvyn Zarr, who had been working in Selma, Alabama, and Jackson, Mississippi, respectively, also discuss their work. They successfully petition to remove to federal courts state cases that are concerned with federal constitutional protections, especially in instances when state courts are not liable to give civil rights defendants a fair trial. They also try to obtain federal court injunctions against state prosecutions and state harassment. The lawyers discuss movement activities in St. Augustine, Selma, Tuscaloosa, and throughout Mississippi, and the recent effects on local officials and communities of the Civil Rights Act, signed into law on July 2, 1964. In St. Augustine and Tuscaloosa, police brutality was curtailed since the passage of the law. In Mississippi, the federal government has done little to enforce it. Jones discusses Ku Klux Klan attempts in Tuscaloosa to force restaurants to re-segregate after they had initially desegregated in response to the Act. Clark discusses police brutality that is unchallenged because local leaders of communities encourage the Klan or acquiesce in their activities.
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; African Americans--Civil rights--History; St. Augustine, Florida; Selma, Alabama; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Mississippi
- Media type
Interviewee: Jones, Charles
Interviewee: Clark, Leroy
Interviewee: Zarr, Melvyn
Interviewer: Hurwitz, Thom
Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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Pacifica Radio Archives
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- Chicago: “The Civil Rights Lawyer in the South,” 1964-08-27, Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 18, 2020, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-1g0ht2gg9n.
- MLA: “The Civil Rights Lawyer in the South.” 1964-08-27. Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 18, 2020. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-1g0ht2gg9n>.
- APA: The Civil Rights Lawyer in the South. Boston, MA: Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-1g0ht2gg9n