Civil Rights Trailblazer Claudette Colvin Has Juvenile Record Expunged

Photo: Getty Images

Claudette Colvin was just 15 years old when she stood up to segregation on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The brave feat in 1955 got her charged and arrested, and a juvenile record that’s followed her –– until now.

Under a judge’s November 24 order, Colvin’s juvenile record was expunged, and all files of the arrest destroyed.

The ruling came from Montgomery County Juvenile Judge Calvin Williams who signed the documents sealing the now-82-year-old’s record for fairness and good cause for “what has since been recognized as a courageous act on her behalf and on behalf of a community of affected people,” Williams said.

Photo: Getty Images

Colvin was charged with two counts of violating Montgomery’s segregation orders and one felony count of assaulting a police officer. She was placed on an “indefinite probation” after being convicted on the assault charge. Her legal team said she was never notified when her probation ended.

“People said I was crazy,” Colvin previously told CNN in an interview. “Because I was 15 years old and defiant and shouting, ‘It’s my constitutional right!'”

Colvin told the news organization earlier this year that Rosa Parks‘ arrest –– which came nine months after her own –– got more attention from the Civil Rights Movement because Parks’ image was “more acceptable to a white community” being that she was older, married and light skinned, Colvin explained.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWPYaMlr6ww?feature=oembed]

Colvin sought the expungement because she wanted to move to Texas with relatives, her legal team said.

Her motion for wiping her record, had the support of Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey who said Calvin’s actions in 1955 were “conscientious not criminal; inspired, not illegal; they should have led to praise and not prosecution.”

In the motion, Colvin said she hopes society “moves forward and be better.”

I want us to move forward and be better. When I think about why I’m seeking to have my name cleared by the state, it is because I believe if that happened it would show the generation growing up now that progress is possible and things do get better. It will inspire them to make the world better,” she wrote.

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