Alabama State Troopers
Field Interrogation Cards
Targeting Civil Rights Workers

In the mid-1960s the Alabama Department of Public Safety (the state troopers) compiled hundreds of dossiers on people known to be active in the Civil Rights Movement. This may have been done by, or in cooperation with, the various state Sovereignty Commissions spread across the Deep South. From these dossiers they created sets of field interrogation cards that were distributed to all Alabama law enforcement agencies large and small so that they could easily identify and surveil known "agitators." As one SCLC staff member described it:

From the driver's seat, the officer waved me over to his car and I went down the half dozen dirt steps cut into the embankment. He introduced himself as the Chief of Luverne Alabama's tiny police force which consisted of him and perhaps two or three others. He asked me to identify myself which I did. There was a shoe box on the seat beside him. It was filled with alphabetized 5x7 cards. He riffed through them and pulled out one with my name, photo, arrest-record, and other details of my nefarious existence. "Is this you," he asked? I confirmed that it was. — Bruce Hartford

Below are interrogation cards for some of the freedom fighters featured on this website:


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