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Jones ad to highlight prosecution of 16th Street Baptist Church bombers

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, October 23, 2017 the Doug Jones for Senate Campaign announced that it is releasing two new advertisements highlighting Jones’ work prosecuting the Klansmen responsible for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963 killing four little girls in Birmingham.

As a U.S. attorney, during the Bill Clinton administration, Jones led the successful prosecution of two of the Ku Klux Klan members responsible for the bombing, which killed four African-American girls.

The campaign is releasing a 30 second version of the ad, “Unity” as well as a longer version that will reach targeted voters online.

“This is a clock that was across the street at Denise McNair’s grandfather’s establishment,” Jones said in the ad. “It was a laundry. Time always stands still. And it sure did for Birmingham and Alabama. This is Addie Mae Collins. Addie Mae was 14 years old at the time. She came to Sunday school and church with her sisters that morning, gathered down in the lady’s lounge to get ready.”

Cynthia Morris Wesley recounts the chaos at the scene following the bombing: “And then there is Carole Robertson, who you heard about earlier. This was the crater where the bomb was placed, it blew through 18 inches of concrete. ‘I said What was the reaction?’ She said ‘Everybody was screaming. It was bedlam in there.’ I said, ‘What did you do?’ She said ‘I just screamed ‘My baby! My baby!’ because she knew that Denise was right there where that blast occurred. And he had to go into a makeshift morgue that they had made for the bodies of these four children, one of whom you really couldn’t identify, and he had to identify the body of his only daughter, at the time, still with a piece of mortar embedded right in the middle of her skull. He said ‘Doug, let me tell you, people come here all the time. They mourn for the girls, they remember the event, but until they see that mortar that was embedded in my daughter’s skull, they truly cannot appreciate what people do in the name of hate.’”

Wesley continues, “What did you see? She said ‘I saw my sister, tying the sash of Denise McNair’s new dress.’ Well then what happened? She said, ‘well then there was the explosion, and I was buried underneath the rubble, I couldn’t move, could barely breathe, I couldn’t see.’ She’s still blind in one eye. I said, ‘Sarah, what did you do?’ She said ‘I called out for help. I called out for sister. I called out ‘Addie! Addie! Addie!’ Her voice rising in the courtroom just like it did some 38 years earlier. I said ‘Did you ever hear her respond?’ ‘No, sir’ ‘Did you ever see her alive again?’ ‘No, sir.’ And with that, I looked up at Judge Jim Garrett and I said ‘Your honor, the state of Alabama rests its case.’”

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An announcer says, “Doug Jones took on the Klan and won — and got justice for Alabama.”

“As you go here from Birmingham, go back with a newfound sense of purpose, understanding more what happened here, understand that we have come a long way but understand we have got a long way to go. And understand you can’t let nobody turn you around. Nobody turn you around. Thank you for letting me tell this story tonight. I am Doug Jones and I approve this message because it’s time, Alabama, to stand up for the Constitution, against violence, and for unity and on December 12th Alabama can lead the way,” Jones says in his campaign commercial.

Jones is the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in the Alabama special election on December 12, 2017, for the seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions (R).

He is running against the Republican nominee, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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