Interview with Sheriff James Clark
QUESTION 48
INTERVIEWER:

DID YOU WANT TO SAY ANYTHING ELSE? OK, NOW AT THAT TIME IN JANUARY OF '65 WERE YOU AWARE THAT THE SCLC WAS ALREADY TALKING ABOUT MOVING THEIR CAMPAIGN ELSEWHERE BECAUSE NOTHING WAS HAPPENING IN SELMA, 'CAUSE THEY COULDN'T GET THINGS GOING? AND THAT SPECIFICALLY, AT THAT TIME, YOU WEREN'T RETALIATING SO IN A WAY YOU, IF YOU HAD, IF THINGS HAD KEPT QUIET YOU COULD HAVE POSSIBLY BEATEN THEM AT THEIR OWN GAME. WERE YOU AWARE OF ALL THAT?

Sheriff James Clark:

We were trying to keep a low profile as law enforcement, and to keep everything quiet as possible and to just well, keep in the background, so to speak. And they—we had things pretty well handled at the county courthouse when they started holding the federal court across the street, and the—they started demonstrating against the federal judge, Judge Thomas, and he sent out an order that I had to come over to arrest the demonstrators around the federal courthouse. They were not on the federal grounds but on the sidewalk around. And he even charged me with not doing my duty because I had not arrested them and that was when the agitation started again.