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Change the name of Holcombe Street to Bernard Whitehurst Jr. Avenue.

This petition had 319 supporters


On December 2, 1975, Bernard Whitehurst Jr. was murdered by the Montgomery Police Department after being mistaken for a robbery suspect.  MPD said Mr. Whitehurst Jr. ran & fired shots at them, which was a lie.  The Montgomery Police Department planted a gun on Mr. Whitehurst that they had confiscated in another case, as proven by the gun's serial numbers.  In the months following Mr. Whitehurst's death, many city officials and police officers resigned, including former Mayor James Robinson, Montgomery Public Safety Director Ed Wright and three officers in the department.

It wasn't until 2012 that the city of Montgomery formally apologized for the murder of Mr. Whitehurst, and placed a plaque across the street from Montgomery City Hall in his honor.  The family was never compensated for their loss, as current Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said that the city could not use public funds for that purpose in a case where there had been no guilty verdicts.

Bernard Whitehurst III started collecting signatures of the residents of Holcombe Street to change the name to Bernard Whitehurst Jr Avenue upon the advice of Robert Smith, the city planning director.  Bernard was told there was an application process he must go through before the council could vote on the matter, including making sure more than 60 percent of property owners were in favor of it.  Bernard got the 60 percent of property owners that the city requested, but as of June 2, 2015, the Montgomery City Council still refuses to change the name of the street.  They have instead offered to place yet another marker acknowledging Mr. Whitehurst Jr's murder.

This is nothing more than a continuation of the almost 40 year cover up of the murder of an innocent man.  The City of Montgomery is once again trying to "whitewash" it's terrible past against it's African American residents.  We respectfully request that the City of Montgomery and Mayor Todd Strange change the name of Holcombe Street to Bernard Whitehurst Jr. Avenue.  It is the very least the city can do to memorialize an innocent man murdered in cold blood by a historically racist police department.  We respectfully disagree that changing the name of the street would tarnish it's history.  In order to move forward as a just society, we must remember the past so wrongdoings are never allowed to happen again.

Sincerely,

Mia Raven

Friend of Bernard Whitehurst III & the Whitehurst family.

To learn more about this case & it's history, visit the following links:

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/local/2015/01/07/son-slain-montgomery-man-wants-street-named/21416731/


http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/local/2015/04/23/planning-commission-recommend-renaming-street-honor-whitehurst/26277269/

https://www.facebook.com/donald.v.watkins/posts/10203562149156488

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=888&dat=19770409&id=oMQTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=k10DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4076,77548&hl=en

 



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