She survived a KKK church bombing that killed four girls. Now she wants an apology.
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A survivor of the church bombing that killed four Black girls in Birmingham, Alabama, 57 years ago deserves an official apology and compensation for the lifelong trauma she suffered from the attack, her lawyers said Wednesday.
Sarah Collins Rudolph, who was 12 when Ku Klux Klan members bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church on the morning of Sept. 15, 1963, lost her sister, her right eye, “her childhood” and a “lifetime’s worth of opportunities and dreams," the lawyers, who are representing her pro-bono with the firm Jenner & Block, said in a letter to Gov. Kay Ivey.
Bits of glass remained lodged in Collins Rudolph’s left eye, abdomen and chest for decades after the bombing, according to the Associated Press. She became known as the “fifth little girl.”
The letter says that though the state did not place the bomb next to the church, state officials and Gov. George Wallace, a hard-line segregationist, “played an undisputed role in encouraging its citizens to engage in racial violence, including the violence that stole the lives of four little girls, and irreparably injured a fifth.”
The letter adds that Collins Rudolph has “never received an apology, support, medical care, counseling or any kind of help or acknowledgment from the state for her injuries.”
“She has born the burdens of the bombing for virtually her entire life, and we believe her story presents an especially meritorious and unique opportunity for the State ...
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