Interview with Albert Turner


Albert Turner:

Mmm-hmm, well, Reverend, as… as we was disbanded um, they um, started beating Reverend Dobans who was on his knees at that point prayering, and they carried him to the jail by his heels. And uh, beat him on the way to the jail. Really the public doesn't know, but Dobins died also as a result of the beating. He did not die immediately, but he really never did recuperate from it. He died roughly a year later, but uh his head was severely damaged, and he just never did survive it, uh, but uh, nobody says or says that he really was murdered or killed from that… that demonstration. At that point all of us then was uh, trying to make our way back to the church for safety really. Uh, the town was surrounded, there was no where to go really, the town— the whole town was surrounded that night by uh, auxiliary policy, State Troopers, Sheriffs and everybody who wanted to come in, really who felt like beating folk up. We went around the side of the church in an effort to get back into the church. Some of us tried to go back in the front door and some of us just went where we could, because as we moved they… they also moved. They was whipping us as we went.** And of course, I didn't get hit myself personally and never did, in the whole civil rights struggle, but uh, quite a few people did. Billy clubs was broken on people's head. And uh, I got in the back door of the church and quite a few of the people did, but Jimmy Jackson was not able to make it back in the church. He went down the hill below the church into a small cafe. And then immediately his grandfather was hit in the back of the head with a stick, a Billy club, and his skull was bust, his head was burst, and he came into the church of course, uh he was hit on the back, back of the church. And he left the church and went down to the cafe, a fellow named Mr. Cagey Lee we called him, and he went to have Jimmy to carry him to the hospital. Uh, when he went in Jimmy was kind of disturbed at the condition he was in, and he kind of panicked like, and uh, he was very fond of his old grandfather anyway. Uh, his grandfather had kind of served as a father to them, his daddy was already dead to be honest with you. So he immediately tried to rush out forgetting about what was going on, and take his father to the hospital. And as he attempted to go out of the door of the small cafe that they were in, the… these troopers met him and forced him back into this building. And of course, Jimmy kind of insisted that he wanted to carry his daddy to the doctor, uh, his grandfather, and uh, they insisted that he did not go. And from that uh, they uh, ganged him simply and physically uh, subdued him and put him on the floor of the cafe and there where they started to whip him up and beat him up pretty bad on the floor of the cafe there. And his mother was in the cafe also. She had come down with her daddy. And she just couldn't stand it no longer, so she took a… a drink bottle and tried to knock the people up off of her son, because they were going to kill him right there on the floor it appeared. When she hit them, then they knocked her out, and uh, and then they took Jimmy and pinned him against the walls of the building and uh, at close range they shot him in the side. Just took the pistol and put it in his side and shot him three times. After shooting him then they… then they ran him out of the door of the cafe, out of the front door of the cafe. And as he run out of the door, the remaining troopers or some of the remaining troopers were lined up down the sidewalk back toward the church, which uh, he had to run through a corridor of uh, of uh policemans standing with billy sticks. And as he ran by them they simply kept hitting him as he kept running through. And he made it back to the door of the church, and just beyond the church he fell. And of course he was picked up at that point and carried to the hospital. Uh, he was carried to the Marion Hospital here in town, and he stayed there about an hour or so before, and nobody would wait on him, and uh then he later was taken to the hospital in Selma, where he did receive services. Probably if he had been waited on properly here, his condition would not have been this he may still have died, but it's only speculation. But they did not wait on him. And he… he was probably an hour or two or more probably 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning before he really received uh, medical services after he had been uh, shot and beaten to death. And he was, some people feel that maybe he… he was beaten to death moreso than shot to death. The severe head wounds were pretty bad. But he still died from uh, whatever happened.