Interview with Sheriff Mel Bailey
QUESTION 18
INTERVIEWER:

OK. [overlap] OK, TRYING TO CONTROL BULL CONNOR. KEEP IT IN THAT TIME.

Sheriff Melvin Bailey:

This was not an easy task to do as, as is well known in history now. He'd get these ideas right off the top of his head and just impetuously run at the situation. The hoses, the dogs, the things that seem outrageous when viewed by the distant public, how could this be, how could anybody, I've heard that so many times. Fortunately the majority of law enforcement was not involved in those situations, or that would have triggered the—our very action would have triggered what some wanted to happen from the other side. So it was a sort of an ongoing matter of my meeting with city hall, my meeting with, I said earlier, you couldn't necessarily communicate with Bull from like as Chief Pritchett tried and was run out of town, so to speak. He got back home in a hurry. I kept going to city hall, he couldn't say I wasn't trying. I never let that happen. And I think finally he drew into himself, almost like Hitler did when he saw he'd lost the war, he drew into himself, and these were studies in human behavior that we had seen happen. So, we sort of polarized him and it worked.