In the public interest, herein is a transcript of Mr. Lackey's remarks. It is time to think what has happened to property rights in light of this early invasion of Communism and its fellow-travelers. It will be the entry for Black History Month.
[Editor's note: The following is a transcript]
"I have really been enlightened about the Bill of Rights. I knew it existed but sometimes we forget a lot of these things that's in the Bill of Rights.
.....I'm gonna start with the bus boycott in Montgomery. The picture on the front of my book shows me fingerprinting Rosa Parks when she was arrested. Actually the bus boycott was the beginning of the civil rights movement in Montgomery. We know that this movement spread throughout the country. We also knew at that time that we were gonna face many situations and our patience was going to be tried many times.
I was lieutenant in the Records and Identification Bureau of the Montgomery Police Department when Rosa Parks was arrested. Actually the fingerprinting showing on the front of that book, that was when she was fingerprinted for violating the boycott law, not the bus segregation law. She was arrested December 1, 1955; the bus boycott began on December 5, 1955. Now they would like to tell you this was a spontaneous thing and Rosa Parks was hand-picked, well-schooled, had been to the school here in Tennessee, Monteagle, and she had lunch with her attorney, Fred Gray, the day she was arrested for bus violations. She was well schooled and well trained. That is not to take anything away from them, but after arrested December 1, they put into operation the bus boycott on December 5. That was a very short time. They had to have everything laid out, so to speak, and we knew that that was going to happen.
We had some people we knew was inside the organization that were feeding us information. During the bus boycott, there was many meetings with the mayors and the City Commission to try to work out a compromise on the bus situation but the blacks would not go along with any compromises that they came up with. They knew that they were going to win that case in court, because Brown vs. Board of Education deal. Of course, we knew it, too, but at least the City Commission tried and then we had a group called "The Men of Montgomery" that met, trying to work out a compromise and couldn't do it.
We had very little, very few problems actually with the blacks during that bus boycott. Now, the morning on December 5 when they started the boycott, they had what I called some "black goon squads" stationed at some of the bus stations where they would pick them up and if any of the blacks tried to board the bus, they assaulted them.
Of course, the people who were assaulted, they wouldn't sign a warrant so it was almost 100% effective - the boycott was. Of course you know that later on, the supreme Court of the United States said the law was unconstitutional and so, the bus segregation law was thrown out the window and the buses… they started riding the buses.
We had some of the buses were shot out; we had one Negro woman that got hit, had a flesh wound in the calf of her leg and they put a curfew on the buses that they couldn't run after 5 o'clock, the City Commission did. We also were able to hire 20 extra policemen to follow the buses and after about 2 weeks, the buses were back on schedule and we had no more problems.
What some people don't know - Rosa Parks was not the first black lady who was arrested for violating the bus segregation law. We had a black female by the name of Claudette Colvin. She was arrested in March of 1955 for violating the bus segregation law. Then in October of '55, a lady by the name of Mary Louise Smith was arrested for the same violation. Now why didn't they use one of them, you know, to file a lawsuit? And I can tell you why… because they were what they called in a 'lower class' neighborhood. They discriminated against their own. They would never admit it, but they did.
So these two women were left out of the picture and of course, Rosa Parks, got all the glory. She got a Troy State University Museum in Montgomery, as the Rosa Parks Museum.
Now one problem we did have, during the boycott, we had some bombings - King's home, Abernathy, E. D. Nixon, a black preacher by the name of Robin Gratz, a Lutheran minister - he was in a black church. All these homes, they had some bombs thrown in the yard. There was some structural damage done to the homes so we had no injuries; we were very fortunate.
We all knew at that time, especially among the police, that we gotta do something and do it quick, because Montgomery was a powder keg. This thing could get out of hand and have riots and everything and blood running down the streets. The majority of us were concentrating on trying to catch the bombers.
Well, we hit paydirt one night when the second bomb was thrown on King's house. I went to all of them - the bombings - two guys came by in an automobile that we recognized - two Klansmen came by on High Street right next to King's house. Now I don't know why this is, but some of these people that commit crimes, sometimes they revisit the scene. And I think this is what they were doing. But when we saw them come back, we had a clue then, that this might be them, because we knew both of them. They were picked up - they signed - both of them signed confessions about the bombings and implicated three more. They took us to a stash that they had of dynamite and they had a list of some more bombings that they were going to do. All five of them were indicted and we went to trial on those two that gave confessions, that's our starting cases. We went to trial; we had an all-white jury; they stayed out about an hour and a half and come back, Not Guilty.
We had done our job and at least that stopped the bombings at that time. We were receiving intelligence information from the FBI. We had all intelligence booths (?) set up and we were able to infiltrate the group there in Montgomery and kinda keep up with what was going on.
I set up a meeting with King and a friend of mine who was a black, Richard Harris, and King was coming into Montgomery and was speaking at two or three churches, would go here and there and we needed to get his itinerary so we could set up security for him. Didn't agree with what he was doing, didn't agree with what he was saying, but he had a right to say it. And it was our duty and responsibility to set up security for him. And I met with him, the three of us, and at first he turned it down. He said, No, I don't want the police around me. And maybe he had a reason. Anyway, I told him,I said, "Now, King, you are an intelligent man; and we've got people in this town that want to kill you and will kill you if they get half a chance." I said, "we can't guarantee you no 100%, but we can cut down the odds.
Well, he decided he would take it then. So we really didn't have anything happen to him in Mongomery. You Tennessee - that's y'all's problem.
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