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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Civil rights pioneer seeks to have his 55 arrest record canceled

MONTGOMERY, Alabama. Months before Rosa Parks became the mother of the modern civil rights movement by refusing to move to the back of an isolated bus in Alabama, black teenager Claudette Colvin did the same. Convicted of assaulting a police officer during her arrest, she was put on probation, but never received notice that she had served her sentence and was in a safe place from a legal point of view.

Colvin, 82 and his age has slowed, asked the judge to end the case once and for all. She wants a Montgomery court to destroy a tape that her lawyer says has cast a shadow over the life of an obscure civil rights hero.

“I am now an elderly woman. Deleting my records will mean something to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And it will mean something to other black children, ”Colvin said in a sworn statement.

Supporters sang civil rights anthems and applauded as Colvin walked into the clerk’s office and filed an exclusion request on Tuesday. Her lawyer, Philip Ensler, said he is seeking to have all legal documents sealed and all case records erased.

Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey later said he agreed to the request to clear Colvin’s record, removing any doubts it would be approved.

“I think you can say that I am no longer a juvenile delinquent,” Colvin told a crowd that included relatives, well-wishers and activists.

Also in attendance was renowned civil rights lawyer Fred Gray, now 90, who is not currently involved in her case.

Recalling her arrest, Colvin told the crowd, “I was thinking about freedom.”

“So I had no intention of moving that day,” she said. “I told them that history has chained me to the seat.”

Colvin left Alabama at 20 and spent decades in New York, but relatives were always worried about what might happen when she returned for visits, as Ensler said no court official said she was out of probation. term.

“Since then, her family has lived with this terrible fear,” he said. “Despite all the recognition in recent years and attempts to tell her story, nothing has been done to clear her story.”

Now residing in Birmingham before moving to relatives in Texas, eighty-year-old Colvin applied to a juvenile court judge, which is rather strange, since it was there that she was convicted of a delinquent and placed on what, in practical terms, was equal to life probation. – said Ensler.

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The Montgomery city bus system, like the rest of social life in the Deep South, was severely racialized in the 1950s. The blacks had to use one fountain, and the whites had to use another; the front of the bus was reserved for whites, while blacks were legally required to take the back.

Parks, a 42-year-old seamstress and NAACP activist, gained worldwide fame after she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man on December 1, 1955. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. has come to the fore and is often considered the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.

Colvin was a 15-year-old high school student at the time, got bored and refused to move before Parkes.

The bus driver called the police on March 2, 1955 and complained that two black girls were sitting next to two white girls and refused to change to the back of the bus. The police report said one of the black girls moved when asked, but Colvin refused.

The police report says Colvin resisted when the police took her off the bus, kicked and scratched the officer. She was originally convicted of violating the city’s segregation law, hooliganism and assaulting an officer, but she appealed and only the assault charge remained.

The case was sent to juvenile court due to Colvin’s age, and records show that the judge found her guilty and placed her on probation “in state custody pending good behavior.” And that was it, Ensler said, when Colvin never received an official word that she had passed probation, and her relatives assumed the worst – that the police would arrest her for whatever reason.

Ensler said it is “unclear” as to whether Colvin is indeed still on probation, but she has never had any other arrests or trials. She even became a named plaintiff in a landmark lawsuit that outlawed racial segregation in Montgomery buses. However, according to Colvin, the trauma continued, especially for relatives who were constantly worried about her.

“My conviction for defending my constitutional right terrorized my family and relatives, who only knew that they should not talk about my arrest and conviction, because people in the city knew me as“ that girl on the bus, ”she said.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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