State Watch

Alabama could consider wiping arrest records of MLK Jr. and Rosa Parks

Image: Martin Luther King Jr. during his 'I Have a Dream' speech
Getty Images

Officials in Alabama will consider wiping clean the arrest records of civil rights icons Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, The Associated Press reported. 

Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey told the news service that he would support the case to expunge the records, but said he needs to see details of the possible request before responding in court. 

Parks, who worked as a seamstress, was convicted of violating racial segregation laws after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in 1955. She refused to pay a $10 fine stemming from her arrest. 

King, who led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, paid a $500 fine in 1956 after being convicted of violating a law banning boycotts. 

Civil rights attorney Fred Gray, who represented both King Jr. and Park, said he may file a lawsuit to have their records expunged, according to the AP.

“We might just decide to file a lawsuit on his behalf to have that record expunged,” Gray said, referring to King.

“The same goes for Parks and others, potentially,” Gray said. 

Last week, 82-year-old Claudette Colvin asked a court to expunge records stemming from her arrest and conviction for refusing to give up her seat on a bus as a 15-year-old in compliance with racial segregation laws in March 1955. 

“I am an old woman now. Having my records expunged will mean something to my grandchildren and great grandchildren. And it will mean something for other Black children,” Colvin’s sworn statement said, according to the AP. 

Hundreds of activists were arrested across the South during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, with many demonstrators refusing to dismiss their arrest records, which are seen to be a badge of honor, the news service noted.

Tags Alabama civil rights Montgomery Rosa Parks

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video