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Rosa Parks statue unveiled in Montgomery

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Montgomery, Ala., city leaders surround the statue of Rosa Parks unveiled Dec. 1, 2019, 64 years to the day after Parks was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat to a white passenger. Photo from the City of Montgomery.

Montgomery, Ala., unveiled a statute of civil rights icon Rosa Parks on Sunday, Dec. 1.

The statue marks the site where Parks stepped onto the bus where she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger and was arrested. The unveiling commemorated the date of the incident: Dec. 1, 1955.

The city also unveiled two historic markers commemorating the landmark U.S. District Court case that paved the way to desegregate public transportation across the nation. In November 1956, judges hearing Browder v. Gayle ruled that segregation on Montgomery’s buses was unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court later affirmed the decision effectively overturning Plessy v. Ferguson, which had made “separate but equal” the law of the land in 1896. It would take another eight years and an act of Congress to take the decision nationwide.

Rosa Parks in her 1955 booking photo and on a Montgomery bus.

Fred Gray, the lawyer who defended Parks, was on hand for the unveiling along with many other civil-rights heroes and about 400 others, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

“For the city officials, from the city and the county, to be able to honor Mrs. Parks and honor those plaintiffs, and even more importantly to honor the 40,000 African American men and women who stayed off of the buses for 382 days, it is indeed a step in the right direction,” Gray told the Advertiser.

The City of Montgomery, the Montgomery County Commission and the State of Alabama Department of Tourism funded the project and commissioned Montgomery County artist Clydetta Fulmer to complete the work.

Parks was a civil rights activist long before that fateful day in 1955. She was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, and she was prominent in the community. Her refusal to obey the bus driver’s order to move to the “colored” section of the bus was not the first time an African American refused the order nor the first arrest for civil disobedience, but the NAACP felt she was the best person on whom to base their case. That case eventually got bogged down, but her actions and willingness to become a controversial national figure inspired thousands of African Americans to boycott the buses for more than a year.

Both the Montgomery bus boycott and Parks became important touchstones for the Civil Rights Movement, and she is often referred to as the mother of the movement.

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Vehicle takes out hydrant and utility pole

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Photo by David Day

A single vehicle collision has taken out a fire hydrant and a utility pole on Cherry at Baum.

Photo by David Day

At 10:40 p.m. E-911 Dispatch received a call that a dark blue Kia SUV had impacted a utility pole on Cherry Street near East. The first officer on scene called in that a fire hydrant had also been impacted and that water was gushing into the roadway.

Photo by David Day

Neither the driver or the passenger of the Kia was injured however a man was taken into custody at the scene.

No disruption of utility services in the area was noted and that traffic was flowing smoothly.

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Crime

High speed chase ends in fiery crash

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(photo by David Day)

A high-speed chase Saturday evening that began near the Waffle House in Vicksburg has ended in a crash in Claiborne County and a vehicle in flames.

First reports indicate the incident began around 5:10 p.m. as an argument at the Waffle House at 4100 Pemberton Square Blvd. A man and woman left the scene and stopped at a Shell gas station on U.S. Highway 61 South where the man pulled the woman, who is pregnant, out of the vehicle by her hair.

The man, Bojara O’Quinn of Claiborne County, then fled, leading Vicksburg police officer Michael Battle on a high-speed chase south on 61 South. The chase exceeded 110 mph at times.

The chase ended just inside the Claiborne County line on Shiloh Road in a crash where the vehicle, reportedly a rental with Illinois plates, burst into flames. The crash occurred right at 5:30 p.m.

O’Quinn is in custody and received minor injuries in the crash. The woman involved received very minor injuries and is apparently safe.

Deputies with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department, and troopers with the Mississippi Highway Patrol assisted in O’Quinn’s capture.

Bojara O’Quinn (photo by David Day)

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Crime

Woman in custody for Friday’s shooting over a parking space

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UPDATE: Akeyah Daniels, 26, of Vicksburg, appeared before Judge Penny Lawson on Saturday in Vicksburg Municipal Court. Lawson set her bond at $50,000 and bound her over to the Warren County grand jury.

Original story:

The woman is in custody in connection with a shooting that occurred Friday, allegedly over a parking space.

The shooting took place around 3:30 p.m. Friday at an apartment building at 2230 Grove St. in Vicksburg.

Akeyah Daniels, 26, turned herself in to Vicksburg police officers at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28. She was arrested at the police station.

Three men were also briefly detained and released in connection with the shooting, according to the Vicksburg police.

Daniels faces one count of drive-by shooting is being held without bond until her initial appearance, which is taking place Saturday.

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