WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Laurie Pritchett, Albany police chief, speaking to reporters about the arrest of freedom riders in Albany, Georgia, 1961 December 10
@ Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
DescriptionIn this WSB newsfilm clip from December 10, 1961, Albany, Georgia, police chief Laurie Pritchett speaks to reporters in a press conference held in his office regarding the arrest of eight "freedom riders" and three local students at the railroad station earlier in the day. Chief Pritchett defends his decision to arrest the interracial group who traveled from Atlanta to Albany, stating that he ordered the eleven individuals arrested as a last resort after deciding that things with the waiting crowd "could get out of hand at any time." After their arrest, the eight individuals were brought to police headquarters in a paddy wagon. Pritchett reports that the arrested freedom riders gave public addresses in Atlanta, North Carolina, New York, and Michigan; he then explains that after the arrest was made, Albany's traffic division officers restored normal traffic flow within fifteen to twenty minutes. In response to a question from an unidentified reporter (off-screen), Pritchett responds that Albany has been fortunate to have "good relations with the colored population" and until November 1, 1961 (the date that the Federal Interstate Commerce Commission ruled to ban segregation on interstate buses, trains, and stations that serviced interstate travelers), the city had not had any history of racial disturbance. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organized the December 10 ride from Atlanta to Albany with four black and four white riders and a white observer, Casey Hayden, who monitored the group's interactions with the police and others. Black riders were SNCC executive secretary...