Politics Civil rights pioneer Claudette Colvin asking judge to expunge 1955 arrest record
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An 82-year-old Black woman who as a teenager was convicted of assaulting a police officer while refusing to move to the back of an Alabama bus in 1955 is asking a judge to clear her record, according to.
Phillip Ensler, who is representing Claudette Colvin, told the AP the motion will be filed Tuesday along with court documents to seal, destroy and erase the records regarding her case.
"I am an old woman now. Having my records expunged will mean something to my grandchildren and great grandchildren. And it will mean something for other Black children," Colvin's sworn statement said, per the AP.
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The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has launched several major investigations under President Joe Biden, an aggressive start after years of neglect during the Trump-era. © Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke speaking during a news conference at the Department of Justice on August 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. In the early months of the administration, the department announced investigations into three major police departments -- a 180-degree turn from the last administration, which was highly skeptical of such systemic reviews.
At the time, Colvin received probation but was never notified when she finished her term. Though Colvin left Alabama for New York five years after the incident, she was fearful of returning to the state as she was unaware that her probation was over, the wire service reported.
"Her family has lived with this tremendous fear ever since then," Ensler told the AP. "For all the recognition of recent years and the attempts to tell her story, there wasn't anything done to clear her record."
Colvin, who now lives in Birmingham, Ala., will make her request to a juvenile court judge because that is where she was determined to be delinquent and placed on probation, the AP reported.
In the 1950s, Black riders on the Alabama bus system were required by law to move to the back. Rosa Parks garnered the attention of the world when she refused to give up her seat to a white man in December 1955. Colvin had done the same thing months before in March but received less attention at the time.
The Hill has reached out to Ensler for more information.
Alabama could consider wiping arrest records of MLK Jr. and Rosa Parks .
Officials in Alabama will consider wiping clean the arrest records of civil rights icons Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, The Associated Press reported. Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey told the news service that he would support the case to expunge the records, but said he needs to see details of the possible request before responding in court. Parks, who worked as a seamstress, was convicted of violating racial segregation laws after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in 1955. She refused to pay a $10 fine stemming from her arrest.