Jim Clark, Sheriff Who Enforced Segregation, Dies at 84





Jim Clark, the former sheriff in Selma, Ala., whose violent, highly public attempts to maintain the status quo there in the Jim Crow era are widely believed to have contributed, however inadvertently, to the success of the voting rights movement, died Monday in Elba, Ala. He was 84 and had been living in a nursing home there.

The death was confirmed by the Hayes Funeral Home in Elba.

From 1955 to 1966, Mr. Clark was the sheriff of Dallas County, Ala., which includes Selma. His tenure was characterized by widespread violence against civil rights demonstrators, in particular black citizens trying to register to vote.

On Mr. Clark’s authority, protesters were routinely beaten and tear-gassed and on one occasion were led on a forced march. He was sometimes assisted in his work by a group of mounted volunteers, armed with whips and clubs, who came to be known as “the sheriff’s posse.”


comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list