Former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young has a DVD out, “Crossing St. Augustine,” documenting the civil rights marches he led in 1964 Florida.
The first part of the documentary ends with Young attempting to negotiate passage through a white mob. Black-and-white footage shows the young lieutenant to Martin Luther King curled on the ground, as a pair of young white men brutally kicked him.
Ultimately, a man whom Young identified as a “trooper” stepped in to save him:
Said Young, now 79:
”I wish I could find the guy who said, ‘That’s enough, let him through.’ Because I’m grateful to him. Because if he had not done that, all of those other people would have been beaten up, and they might not have been as fortunate as me.”
Over the weekend, and 47 years later, the St. Augustine Record announced that it had found the man:
That ‘trooper’ was really St. Augustine Police Department motorcycle patrolman Jimmy Petroglou, now 80.
Petroglou retired in 1982 after 30 years in law enforcement.
“There had been night after night of continuous (demonstration) walks through downtown,” Petroglou said late last week. “We were told to let (the marchers) pass peacefully. I was assigned to the Government House.”
But an all-white crowd of mostly outside agitators massed on the Plaza de la Constitucion. That evening, they had been whipped into a racist frenzy by J.B. Stoner, self-proclaimed imperial wizard of the Christian Knights of the KKK, Bart Griffin of the United Florida KKK and Don Cothran of the United Klans.
Stoner was a white supremacist from Marietta, who – years later – would be convicted of the 1958 bombing of a Birmingham church. To continue:
Petroglou said, “The crowds were chanting. Two men came out of the crowd, grabbed a man and knocked him down. I said, ‘Okay guys. That’s it. Get off.’ I grabbed one and pulled him off and he ran back into the crowd. Then I grabbed the other and tossed him.”
He saw two black men running to help Young.
Petroglou, 33 at the time, didn’t know Young and said he would have helped anyone injured.
“I knew that if (rioting) started, people were going to get hurt,” he said. “It was a tinderbox. The town was upset. I couldn’t tolerate any violence because I thought (St. Augustine) would explode.”
The end quote:
Young said, “It took as much, if not more, courage for him to stand up to the mob as a single officer. The white onlookers were screaming for blood and I was trying hard not to show my fear.”
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich addresses the Atlanta Press Club on Wednesday morning. According to a press release issued today, Gingrich will argue that that the Fed’s dual mandate – “dollar stability and full employment” – are incompatible.
The Gingrich campaign will also throw its candidate a birthday party Wednesday at its reopened Buckhead office.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Newt Gingrich’s claim that right-to-work states now create more jobs than unionized areas of the United States.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was among 14 mayors who sat down with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the economy on Monday afternoon.
Erica Byfield of Channel 2 Action News last night took a look at Sandy Spring’s new Iron Sky police monitoring system. Pray it doesn’t become self-aware:
Even more so than the Republican party, Democrats are developing an urban center of gravity. From Walter Jones with Morris News Service:
Senate Democrats voted unanimously Monday afternoon for two veteran Atlanta legislators to take the reins during the politically charged special session on redistricting in August and then during next year’s regular session.
Monday’s leadership shift furthers the transformation of the Democratic Party from one headed by rural conservatives to a party whose power is centered in Atlanta. The Democratic leaders in the House are also from metro Atlanta.
The Senate elections were necessary because of the resignation of Sen. Robert Brown of Macon so he can run for mayor of Macon this fall. The fiery Brown had led the caucus since 2005 and was noted for his bold accusations.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider