In this WSB newsfilm clip from October 16, 1970, demonstrators in Savannah, Georgia protest the incarceration of Georgia state representative Bobby L. Hill; one of Hill's attorneys comments on his arrest and appeal for release.
The clip begins with a shot of a group of African American men walking down the sidewalk; one man in the group waves a red, green and black Pan-African flag on a pole. Next, a Savannah police officer directs street traffic from a motorized tricycle; on the opposite side of the street, a steady crowd of African American pedestrians walk along the sidewalks and crosswalks. Three young African American boys play around by jumping into the camera shot and waving their arms. Next, an unidentified African American attorney speaks to a reporter who is off-camera. The attorney reports that Hill was frisked, handcuffed, then taken to the county jail, where he is currently residing. He says that a motion for an appeal bond is pending with Judge Victor Mulling, the presiding municipal judge who cited Mr. Hill for contempt. The reporter then asks the attorney what his feelings are for Mr. Hill's alleged actions, which involve instructing his defendants that they were free to leave the courtroom without the judge's permission. The attorney responds that it remains to be decided whether or not Mr. Hill actually said such things, and therefore he does not have an opinion to state on the matter.
On Thursday, October 15, 1970, Georgia state representative from district ninety-four in Chatham county Bobby L. Hill, a practicing Savannah attorney, was arrested and jailed for contempt of court by Savannah Municipal Court judge Victor H. Mulling. Hill was representing six African American high school students who were arrested after interracial fighting broke out at newly-integrated Savannah High School. No white students were arrested in the incident. In trying the case, Judge Mulling noted that the defendants had not been issued correct warrants, and called a recess in order to reissue them. During this time, Hill allegedly notified his clients that they could not be held on illegal warrants, and were therefore not required to stay in court. As several of the defendants attempted to leave the courtroom, they were stopped by deputies with blackjacks; the sight of this scene caused the entire courtroom to break out in disorder. For his alleged role in the courtroom disturbance, Hill was held in Chatham County Jail for four days. While Hill's attorneys requested his release on bond, several demonstrations were held in protest of his incarceration, including marches on the Chatham County Jail, which attracted hundreds of demonstrators. In defiance of the demonstrations, Judge Mulling refused to rule on the bond motion for Hill. Hill's attorneys filed a petition for habeas corpus in Superior Court; they were granted a hearing, but could not immediately secure a bond for Hill's release. Ultimately, Hill was released on Tuesday, October 19, by order of U.S. District Court judge Alexander A. Lawrence.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.
|Rights and Usage:|
Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of a racial demonstration in Savannah, Georgia, 1970 October 16, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1682, 52:23/53:21, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.