NEWS from Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc.
822 Perdido Street, New Orleans 12, La.
October 6, 1960
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--The Florida Supreme Court at Tallahassee has refused to free Richard F. Parker, a white student who is serving a 90-day sentence for taking part in sit-in demonstrations here during August.
Parker sits in jail with a broken jaw received when he was slugged by a segregationist after the riots which followed the sit-ins. Unable to eat solid food, he lost 25 pounds during the first 35 days he was imprisoned. Because of his belief in the philosophy of [nonviolence], Parker refuses to prosecute his attacker.
The student's attorneys plan to appeal to the federal courts to release Parker. They contend that his sentencing on a vagrancy charge violates his rights under the First, Fifth and and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Parker himself points out that he was in no sense a vagrant. He had funds in a local bank, was on vacation as a student from Florida State University, Tallahassee, and had a room in a local hotel when arrested.
Jacksonville police admit they arrested Parker when he was sitting along in a white restaurant waiting for a cup of coffee. They had been watching him for 10 days because he was the only white person who had the courage to join Negro students in sit-ins.
Parker took part in sit-ins on August 25 and 26. On August 27 the White Citizens Council brought on a riot by flooding the downtown section with hoodlums armed with ax handles and baseball bats. Police officials say they were unable to restrain these men because of a manpower shortage.
Parker was arrested the day after the riot by officers who had
State Archives of Florida: Collection N2015-1, Box 01, Folder 8
This leaflet from the Southern Christian Educational Fund provides updates regarding the condition of Richard Parker, a white civil rights activist in Jacksonville whose jaw was broken by segregationists. Parker was unable to eat solid foods during his time in jail, having received poor medical care to mend his jaw.
October 6, 1960