Alabama police chief apologizes for not protecting the “Freedom Riders”

John Lewis and other Freedom Riders were beaten by members of the Ku Klux Klan during a demonstration in Montgomery, Alabama on May 20, 1961. The police stood by and watched as racists ravaged the peaceful protesters.

In a ceremony earlier today at the First Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama, Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy apologized to now Congressman Lewis for law enforcement’s failure to protect him and the other protesters on that day over 50 years ago. Chief Murphy said that he believed God had led him to make this apology.

Lewis choked back tears as the chief made his remarks. He also said that it’s the first time that he has received such an apology from any police chief in the South. You can read more about the story here, and watch Lewis’ and Murphy’s remarks above.

4 Responses to Alabama police chief apologizes for not protecting the “Freedom Riders”

  1. Randy Alston (@RandyAlston) March 4, 2013 at 1:34 am #


  2. Jack Wolford March 4, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    The Chief’s name is about as Irish as you can get and is probably Catholic . Old power dies hard and racism still exists , but , this Chief has helped to make it happen .

  3. Jerome Ellard March 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Made me cry.

  4. Jade Gordon March 5, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    Grateful that Congressman Lewis, an exemplary human being, a man of great wisdom, courage, heroism and moral integrity, is alive to receive the apology. Though it has taken 48 years for a police officer to apologize, Mr. Lewis always says that it is never too late to do the right thing. Let us hope that other law enforcement officials will rise to the occasion and follow Chief Kevin Murphy’s fine example.

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