MAN ARRESTED FOR KILLING OF 3 CIVIL RIGHTS WORKERS IN 1964-Andrew Stelzer

01/07/05

A reputed member of the Ku Klux Klan, Edgar Ray Killen, has been arrested in the 1964 shooting deaths of 3 civil rights workers campaigning for voting rights for black people --James Chaney, a 21-year-old black man from Mississippi, and two white New Yorkers, 20-year-old Andrew Goodman and 24-year-old Michael Schwerner.

It was the first time the state has sought criminal charges in the case, which was made into the movie “Mississippi Burning� In 1967, the Justice Department tried Killen and 18 other men, many of them also members of the Ku Klux Klan on federal civil rights violations. Seven men, including a sheriff’s deputy, were convicted, but none were convicted of murder, and none served more than 6 years in prison. The rest, including a county sheriff, were set free, Killen’s trail ended in a hung jury. This morning, after being indicted by a grand jury, Killen pled not guilty to three counts of murder.

Ben Chaney, the younger brother of James Chaney, has called the latest investigation a sham that may target one or two unrepentant Klansmen but spare wealthy and influential whites who he said had a hand in the killings.

Mark Potak is the director of the intelligence project at the Southern Poverty Law center in Alabama —his program monitors Klan and neo-Nazi hate groups.

MISSISSIPPI

That was Mark Potak with the Southern Poverty Law Center. Their website is splcenter.org

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