ADL Welcomes Arrest of Klansman in 1964 Murders of Civil Rights Activists
Update: On June 21, 2005, a jury found Edgar Ray Killen guilty of manslaughter in the killings of Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney. More
New York, NY, January 7, 2005 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the arrest of longtime Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen, who is being charged with the abduction and killing of civil rights activists Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney in Mississippi in 1964.
Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:
The arrest of Edgar Ray Killen on murder charges in Mississippi has been a very long time coming, but it tells us that ultimately, the interests of justice will be served in this country.
The brutal killings of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were a defining moment for our nation, one of the darkest hours in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement. It is unfortunate that more than 40 years passed between this tragedy and a murder prosecution, but we have now reached a new, more positive defining moment.
We are gratified that a new generation of law enforcement officials in Mississippi, personified by such leaders as Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and Neshoba County Sheriff Larry Myers, is moving this case forward, and we commend them for their determination and their persistence.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.