Birmingham bombing attorneys speak about civil rights

(WBIR, Knoxville) - Prosecutors responsible for bringing justice in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing say the fight for civil rights is still a work in progress.

Former Attorney General Bill Baxley and former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones spoke at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville Friday morning about one of the most notorious events of the civil rights struggle.

The two men brought charges against the Klansman convicted of bombing a Birmingham church in 1963. The explosion killed four girls.

Even though the bombing happened in 1963, it wasn't until 1977 that Baxley charged the first of four people believed to be involved. Jones would charge two more in 1997. The fourth suspect died without ever being charged.

It took decades to charge and convict the men, but the attorney's say the case is still relevant today.

"The quest for civil rights, equal rights, equal justice and to try to change people is still a work in progress. You only have to look at what happened in the shooting in Kansas City a few weeks ago to know that we've come a long way in this country, but we still have a long way to go before we reach Dr. King's Dream," said Jones.

The event was part of the City of Knoxville's ongoing commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


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