It was September 15, 1963 when a bomb took off inside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, eliminating 4 young girls and injuring numerous others prior to Sunday praise.The racially charged attack at the African-American church drew nationwide attention and marked a major pivotal moment in the civil liberties motion.
It was this act of violence and many other atrocities that ultimately resulted in the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which provided the FBI with brand-new federal laws to examine civil rights offenses.Years later, on the hallowed ground of the historical church, FBI Director James B.Comey recalled the discrimination African-Americans in Birmingham have dealt with during a speech today at the yearly FBI and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) conference on police and civil liberties.Too many have forgotten what it was like for men and women of color for black people in this city 50 years ago. Many of you here today keep in mind, because numerous of you and your loved ones lived it.
Different lives stated Comey.Comey’s speech ended the two-day conference, which concentrated on the need to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community, especially in neighborhoods of color. As violent criminal activities increase in numerous parts of the country including Birmingham, where 2015 brought on 88 homicides Comey discussed how the lines in between residents and authorities are moving even more apart. To alter this pattern, the FBI Director stressed the value of developing a much deeper understanding and a more powerful connection.
It is tough to dislike up close, Comey said. It is difficult to hate somebody you understand, somebody whose life you have come to comprehend. And just by getting near each other can we begin to arc those lines back together.
Comey outlined several methods to improve communication in between the community and police, calling for much better openness, accountability, and partnerships. Birmingham, he said, is a fine example of how the FBI works side-by-side with municipal organizations to stem violent crime.
For years, the FBI’s Birmingham Field Office has worked carefully with partner agencies on task forces to investigate cases, safeguard people, and train fellow police officials.
The FBI has actually been a vital partner here in Birmingham, stated Don Lupo, director of person support for the Birmingham mayor’s office. The local field office has actually been entirely helpful of everything that we have attempted to do in the city. The strong working relationship in between our police and sheriff’s department has been important to the security of our residents.
Together with its business with the city authorities, the FBI has partnered since 2006 with BCRI to educate law enforcement officials and the community on the history of the civil liberties movement as well as current problems affecting communities across the country. Through the FBI and BCRI’s yearly conferences, the 2 agencies have built upon previous year’s conversations to keep an open discussion in between police, their workers, and the communities they serve.
Our team believes that these conferences build continuous and long lasting relationships, stated Priscilla Hancock Cooper, BCRI’s vice president of institutional programs. Not just do we wish to continue to engage law enforcement and community members in Birmingham, but I think we have something to provide to the remainder of the nation. Through our relationship with the FBI, we’ll try to find methods to spread this effective law enforcement partnership with other cities.
As Comey concluded his speech in front of a jam-packed crowd at the historical Baptist church, he remembered the stories of everyday people living in Birmingham throughout the civil liberties movement who risked their lives to decide for racial equality people like Bishop Calvin Woods, sitting in the audience today, who was figured out to speak up against segregation despite being sentenced to tough labor.
He said he kept marching, kept peacefully opposing because of his fellow citizens, Comey said. Because regardless of the poundings, the jailing, and the bombings, the spirit and determination of the black individuals of Birmingham could not be destroyed.
As the FBI continues to root out hate criminal activities and color of law violations and protect civil rights, Comey stressed the importance of citizens and police working together.
It will take all of us each and every single member of every neighborhood to fight for and provide change. To fight for equality and fairness. To stop driving around the problem. To be agitators and insiders, in the very best way in the way Dr. King taught us, stated Comey. Find more information here at lawsuit against bank of america.