Friday, May 4, 2007

DA investigates 1965 shooting by Alabama State Trooper that precipitated Selma march

History News Network: "A shooting before 1965 Selma-Montgomery march gets new look"

AP (5-3-07)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A fatal shooting by a state trooper that helped inspire the march from Selma in 1965 and the ''Bloody Sunday'' protest that preceded it will get a fresh look next week by a special grand jury.

Former State Trooper James Bonard Fowler has insisted for years that he shot black Vietnam War veteran Jimmie Lee Jackson in self-defense when Jackson grabbed Fowler's pistol during a melee in a Marion cafe.

''There is no question about who did the shooting. The question is whether this was a murder or it was something else,'' said District Attorney Michael Jackson, who is not related to the victim...

Fowler's version of the events the night Jimmie Lee Jackson was hurt was accepted by state officials in 1965. But in recent years, as prosecutors began to solve old civil rights-era slayings -- including the Birmingham church bombing that killed four girls in 1963 and the slaying of three civil rights workers Mississippi in 1964 -- people in west Alabama began to call for a new examination of Jackson's death.

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