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Martin Luther King, Jr. - Arrests

To Fred D. Gray

Several months after being served with a complaint in connection with Alabama governor John Patterson's libel suit, King forwarded it to his attorney, Fred Gray.1 On 9 December Gray responded that he was "very sorry that you did not send us this complaint immediately," noting that "the law requires that some type of answer or responsive pleading be filed in matters of this sort within thirty days." In the letter below, King explains why he did not respond more promptly.

Statement to Eugene Loe

Following King's arrest on 3 September, Montgomery Recorder's Court judge Eugene Loe found him guilty of loitering and fined him $10 plus $4 in court fees.1 In the statement below King proclaims that he would rather be jailed than pay a fine for "an act that I did not commit and above all for brutal treatment that I did not deserve." While waiting to be transferred to jail, King was released when Police Commissioner Clyde Sellers paid the fine.

From Harris Wofford

Wofford comments on Stride Toward Freedom. On the same day Wofford wrote to Levison suggesting several people who should receive complimentary copies of the book, including each member of the Civil Rights Commission, several southern elected officials, and President Eisenhower, about whom Wofford added: “Very occasionally he reads.”

Rev. Martin Luther King
530 South Union
Montgomery, Alabama

Dear Martin,


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