Speedy trial requested in city case

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 16, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The attorney representing Faya Rose Toure in Selma Municipal Court has filed a motion for a speedy trail.

Toure’s law partner, J.L. Chestnut Jr., rarely makes appearances in court

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&045; especially city court.

According the magistrate’s office, no trial date has been set as of Wednesday.

The case itself stems from attorney Toure, formerly Rose Sanders, being charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest on Jan. 9 during proceedings held by Judge Valerie Chittom.

To add to the veteran civil rights lawyer’s case is the name of the arresting officer &045; Jimmy Crowe, who is white.

During segregation, &8220;Jim Crow laws&8221; relegated blacks in public accommodations in the South, creating separate rest rooms, drinking fountains and eating establishments even required blacks to sit in the rear of city buses.

An officer was called to the second floor Municipal Courtroom that afternoon and Toure was arrested.

The officer who arrived was Crowe.

Toure was booked, then allowed to sign her own bond.

Darlene Fletcher, city magistrate, said Toure’s case was set for trial on Jan. 23. No other date had been assigned giving Toure her day in court.

Toure said she created what Chittom considered a disruption because she &8220;saw a young black man about to be sent off to prison for a minor infraction.&8221;

According to the motion to set trial filed by Chestnut, &8220;She was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Failure to Obey when Sanders responded to Judge Chittom’s refusal to allow her client, Roosevelt Cleveland, to testify and defend himself against the charge of Public Intoxication. Judge Chitttom found Cleveland guilty of Public Intoxication after a police officer testified and would not permit the Defendant to testify. That triggered the verbal exchange between Attorney Sanders and Judge Chittom.&8221;

Chestnut said cases are normally set within 30 days in Selma Municipal Court, and nearly two months have passed.

He is also asking for &8220;an impartial judge&8221; to hear the case. Which means Mayor James Perkins Jr., who has the authority to appoint a temporary judge, may have to make a temporary appointment to hear the case.

Judge Prince D. Chestnut, a newly-appointed municipal judge, may not be able to hear the case since Chestnut is his uncle and recently worked in the law firm with him and Toure.

The arresting officer, who said he’s heard it all most of his life concerning his infamous name, said he was just doing his job.