Interview with Sheriff James Clark
QUESTION 24
INTERVIEWER:

OK, THAT'S FINE, GREAT, WE'LL MOVE RIGHT ON. NOW YOU SAID TO JIM DEVINNEY WHEN YOU SPOKE TO HIM ON THE PHONE THAT YOU, THAT YOU HAVE A QUICK TEMPER WHICH SOMETIMES GOT YOU INTO TROUBLE. WAS THAT WHAT HAPPENED WITH REVEREND C. T. VIVIAN ON THE STEPS. THAT WAS IN FEBRUARY OF '65 WHEN THAT—WHAT'S NOW A WELL KNOWN INCIDENT—HE WAS SORT OF PROVOKING YOU VERBALLY AND YOU RESPONDED. WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED IN THAT INCIDENT?

Sheriff James Clark:

Vivian led a crew up a—steps, there was a large number, I don't have any idea how many there were—to the top of the steps, and I went out to meet him and I had a night stick in my hands as—at parade rest, and he started shouting at me that I was a Hitler. I was a brute, that I was a Nazi. I don't remember all everything he called me, and I did lose my temper then** and it seemed that a red skim came over my eyes and the next thing I knew he was on the—at the bottom of the steps picking himself up and that the Deputies helped him. I don't remember even hitting him, but I went to the doctor and got an X-ray and found out I had a linear fracture in a finger on my left hand.**