Birmingham Police Chief Apologizes to John Lewis, Freedom Riders

Birmingham Police Chief Apologizes to John Lewis, Freedom Riders

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Civil rights legend John Lewis was moved to tears by an apology from current Montgomery, Ala., police chief Kevin Murphy.

Lewis was involved in several confrontations during the civil rights movement, most famously a confrontation on the Edmund Pettis Bridge

“The chief of police in Montgomery is the first to apologize,” Lewis said.

As a bus of Freedom Riders arrived in Montgomery in 1961 for a march, their bus was mobbed by a white mob and burned and the freedom riders were beaten. Police did nothing to stop the mob.

The apology took place during the annual Faith and Politics civil rights pilgrimage weekend.

Murphy said the apology was overdue and “the right thing to do” and gave Lewis a chief of police badge from his uniform.

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