Black businessman Frank Morris was killed in 1964 at the age of 51 when his store was set on fire.  No one has ever been charged with his murder but Louisiana’s Concordia Sentinel newspaper has named two men as the arsonists, part of a Ku Klux Klan “wrecking crew”.  Four days before he died from his injuries, Morris told the FBI that two men had broken into his store while he slept, smashed windows, doused the place in gasoline and told him to, “Get back in there, n-gger.”  The two suspected men are Arthur Spencer, who is still alive and O.C. “Coonie” Poissot, who died in 1992.  The Sentinel editor interviewed Spencer in June 2010, where he denied knowing anything about the Morris (murder) and denied knowing the other Klansman (Poissot).  The newspaper has been investigating the case since 2007, when the FBI named the killing as one of 108 “cold cases” from the civil rights era it still hoped to solve.  Read More.

Civil Rights have changed since 1964 because of crimes such as the one committed above.  Namely, two major laws have come into effect to give aggrieved persons a recourse for their injuries and sue the wrong-doer. In 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was enacted to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin in the workplace and in society in general. Then in 2000, the Hate Crimes Act of 2000 was enacted by NY, in which a person commits a hate crime when he or she commits a specified offense and either:

a)      intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be committed because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct, or

b)      intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense because of a belief or perception regarding
the same reasons listed in section (a) above.

Read More.

Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC is a nationally recognized firm in the area of Discrimination law. For more information, contact Leeds, Morelli and Brown, PC at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation.