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The Color of the Third DegreeRacism, Police Torture, and Civil Rights in the American South, 1930-1955$
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Silvan Niedermeier

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652979

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652979.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The Investigations by the Federal Government

The Investigations by the Federal Government

(p.104) Chapter Five The Investigations by the Federal Government
The Color of the Third Degree

Silvan Niedermeier

, Paul Cohen
University of North Carolina Press

Chapter five shows the FBI investigations against William F. Sutherland as the first in a series of federal probes launched by representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice to sanction the persistent violation of the civil rights of blacks by law enforcement officials in the South. FBI investigation documented conditions of defendants capturing photos of wounds and evidence of weapons. Regardless of evidence provided against authorities, there was a limited chance of success. In addition, in all the cases covered in chapter five, lawmen were accused of abusing and torturing black suspects in violation of their civil rights. Despite the outcome of the trials, the FBI investigations exposed and brought awareness of police torture. Overall, the FBI investigations brought to light a multitude of other allegations of mistreatment by African American prisoners and challenged the system of police violence in the South.

Keywords:   FBI investigations, William F. Sutherland, U.S. Department of Justice, civil rights, police torture, South, African Americans

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