Bernard Whitehurst - Montgomery, AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member xptwo
N 32° 22.780 W 086° 18.439
16S E 565157 N 3582731
Quick Description: On April 16, 2013, the City of Montgomery dedicated this two-sided historic marker to help everyone understand how it has learned from the acts of the past.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 4/17/2013 11:55:53 AM
Waymark Code: WMGWQK
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Thorny1
Views: 18

Long Description:
The marker is located at Lister Hill Plaza, across from the Montgomery City Hall. It is on the Madison Avenue end, near the corner with Perry Street.

The plaza side of the marker reads:

Bernard Whitehurst and the Whitehurst Case

On December 2, 1975, Bernard Whitehurst was shot to death by a police officer in Montgomery, Alabama. He died behind a house on Holcombe Street, running from police officers who mistakenly believed he was the suspect in a robbery of a neighborhood grocery store.

The facts were slow to emerge in this shooting of a black man by a white police officer. But investigations urged by the Whitehurst family, the city's daily newspaper, and the local district attorney revealed the following of that tragic event: that Whitehurst, 32, did not match the robbery suspect's description; that he was unarmed, despite police claims that they returned fire after being fired upon; that the gun found by his body had been confiscated by police in a drug investigation a year earlier, and was placed at the scene as part of a police cover-up.

The shooting that cost Bernard Whitehurst his life ultimately led to the resignation of the city's mayor and public safety director, the resignation or termination of eight police officers, and the perjury indictment of three police officers. These events, known collectively as the Whitehurst Case, are considered pivotal in the history of the City of Montgomery.

The Madison Avenue side of the marker reads:

Montgomery: Learning from the Past

The Whitehurst Case has proven transformative in Montgomery and is part of the body of events and individuals that have shaped both the struggle for civil rights and the relationship between the Montgomery community and the Montgomery Police Department.

Decades after Bernard Whitehurst was shot and killed by a Montgomery police officer, the Montgomery Police Departments employs a case study of this fatal shooting and subsequent events to help officers learn about policing in a capital city that is both the "Cradle of the Confederacy" and the "Birthplace of Civil Rights."

The Whitehurst Case forms a significant part of the police curriculum, "Policing in a Historic City: Civil Rights and Wrongs in Montgomery." This case, which embodies both private grief and public tragedy, continues to teach powerful lessons to police officers seeking to understand the line between right and wrong.
Marker Name: Bernard Whitehurst and the Whitehurst Case / Montgomery: Learning from the Past

Marker Type: Urban

Addtional Information::
The marker was placed by the City of Montgomery. The following from WSFA TV News tells why this spot was selected: "The marker was originally slated to be placed at the entrance to the Montgomery Police Academy, but the family didn't want it there. "I was saying, why would you put it at the police academy and no goes there but people that want to be police officers? So I said you need to put it in a place where it can be seen to the public eye," Stacy Whitehurst said." source:

Date Dedicated / Placed: 4/16/2013

Marker Number: None

Visit Instructions:
Please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Alabama history please include that in your log.
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