Jimmy Lee Jackson
December 16, 1938
February 26, 1965
Age at Death:
Jimmy Lee Jackson was apart of the Civil Rights Movement as well as the Peace Movement, he was a civil rights activist who worked with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He grew up in Marion, Alabama and was active in his Baptist church. He took over the family farm at the age of 18, when his father passed away. Jackson grew up to become the youngest deacon of his church in Alabama. He was a hardworking man that loved his family and never stopped fighting for equality and peace.
There were around 500 people who were attempting a peaceful walk to the local jail, only half a block away from their church. These marchers had planned to walk to the jail, sing hymns, and then walk back to their church, but the police say that they thought the crowd was planning for a jailbreak. Police officers, county sheriffs and state troopers began to standoff against the marchers. Jackson, along with his mother, sister, and grandfather ran into a small cafe behind the church, but were followed by state troopers. They began to beat them. Jackson tried to move to protect his mother from their violence, but was thrown into a cigarette machine and shot twice in the stomach. He was able to walk outside of the cafe, but ended up collapsing in front of a bus station. He was taken to the hospital, where he passed.
Was justice served?
Over 40 years after Jimmy was killed, the state trooper admitted to shooting him. He said that he was protecting himself, but was charged with first and second degree murder for his death. The officer pleaded guilty to "manslaughter" and gave an apology for killing him. He was sentenced to six months in jail, which did not please local civil rights leaders. They stated that the agreement was a "slap in the face of the people of this country." Justice was served, but the punishment that the officer was given does not truly seem like justice to me.