Bid thought-about to wipe Alabama arrest data of King, Parks


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The search by a civil rights pioneer to have her arrest document cleaned after practically 70 years after she protested racial segregation has raised the potential of related bids to clear the names of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., whose convictions stay on the books in Alabama’s capital.
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Parks, a Black seamstress and activist who was convicted of violating racial segregation legal guidelines after refusing to surrender her bus seat to a white man in 1955, was convicted of violating racial segregation legal guidelines. King, who helped lead the ensuing Montgomery Bus Boycott, paid a $500 advantageous after being convicted in 1956 of violating a legislation banning boycotts.

Parks refused to pay her $10 advantageous, and she or he and King went on to change into icons of racial justice and the trendy civil rights motion. But their instances stay on the books in Montgomery, mentioned civil rights lawyer Fred Grey, who represented each.

Within the case of King, an up-and-coming pastor on the time, efforts to reverse the conviction in court docket failed, Grey mentioned.

“We’d simply resolve to file a lawsuit on his behalf to have that document expunged,” Grey mentioned. The identical goes for Parks and others, probably, he mentioned.

The chief prosecutor in Alabama’s capital, Montgomery County District Lawyer Daryl Bailey, mentioned he would usually assist a transfer to expunge the arrest data of King and Parks, however he’d must see particulars of any such request earlier than responding in court docket.

Bailey and Grey spoke on behalf of Claudette Colvin as she requested a court docket on Tuesday to take away data stemming her from arrest and conviction after she refused to maneuver to the again of a bus in compliance with racial segregation legal guidelines in March 1955 in Montgomery.
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Now 82, Colvin was a 15-year-old highschool scholar on the time.

“My mindset was on freedom,” she mentioned after submitting the expungement request, which has but to be determined.

An lawyer representing Colvin, Phillip Ensler, mentioned he would assist a bid to expunge the court docket data of different activists from the civil rights motion. However Colvin, who was convicted of assaulting an officer throughout her arrest and declared delinquent, is not positive that such an effort can be potential since there was a lot injustice for therefore lengthy.

“That will take 100 years, possibly 200 years to undergo the court docket system,” she mentioned. “You could possibly by no means end it.”

Representatives from The King Middle in Atlanta and The Rosa and Raymond Parks Basis in Detroit, the place Parks lived most of her life, didn’t return emails in search of remark.

Tons of of individuals have been arrested throughout the South throughout civil rights demonstrations within the Fifties and ‘60s, and it’s unclear what number of would wish to take away their arrest data, which many see as a badge of honor. When town of Birmingham provided mass pardons to folks arrested throughout protests in 1963, many refused.

Montgomery County Circuit Clerk Gina Ishman mentioned expunging court docket paperwork removes convictions from defendants’ document however usually doesn’t end result within the destruction of paperwork, such because the historic police and court docket data involving folks like Colvin, King and Parks.

Colvin, who left Alabama for New York at age 20, mentioned the conviction by no means bothered her a lot, though her household was apprehensive as a result of she by no means acquired discover saying her probation had ended. The worst factor in regards to the ordeal was shedding highschool pals over her act of defiance, she mentioned.

“They did not wish to be round me,” mentioned Colvin.


Reeves is a member of the AP’s Race and Ethnicity crew.

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