Interview with Albert Turner


Albert Turner:

Ok, as we went out of the church that night, uh, to begin the actual march, we got roughly about a half a block from the door and uh, the Sheriff of the County at that time, and, and several troopers uh, halted uh, us, because I was leading the demonstration uh, at that time. I was considered the local leader. And uh, we were stopped and told that we was an… unlawful assembly, and that we had to disband the demonstration and go back in – the church. Uh, at that time we had planned already to have a prayer at that point. And uh, we had a Reverend Dobas (?) who stopped and prayed, or he got down to pray. And uh, they came up and took Willie Bolan, who was the, a local… not local uh, worker, but a fellow from out of town, SCLC worker, and they took Bolan across the street and had him to watch what they were going to do to us. And they asked if I was an outsider, and of course, I said no. And uh, I had to identify myself. They wanted me to show identification. So I showed them identification. During the time I was trying to get a… to show identification, they had… they had started punching me in the side with uh, their sticks. And of course, I insisted that they stop, in order for me to show any identification. They let me show the identification, and immediately after that they shove me back into the crowd, you know, there's a line of people behind me really, and they just kind of shoved us back, all of us in front. And they took Reverend Dobas, who was on his knees, immediately behind me praying and they just started beating him right there on the ground. And I guess that was probably the visciousest thing I had ever seen. They beat him and they simply just beat him up off the ground and took him by his heels and drug him to the jail and continued to beat him. Uh, at that point they… they had State Troopers all over the city to be honest with you that night. And they had plain clothes people, they not all were State Troopers, but a lot of citizens really was in… involved and uh, they beat black people wherever they found them to be frank with you. Uh, as we attempted to go back to the church after we had been forced around and, and of course they started whipping people at that point, so all of us tried to get back into the church. The line of demonstrators still was in the door of the church. The demonstration really never did get all the way out of the church. So we couldn't really go back into the front door because uh, it was already uh…