The Civil Case

CHATTANOOGA, TN

 

 01   The Story

In April 1980, three Klansmen went on a shooting spree in Chattanooga, Tennessee, injuring five Black women. As usual, the criminal courts treated the Klansmen lightly. But the five women fought back in a new way with the support of civil rights attorney Randolph McLaughlin, who helped the women win an important victory against the Klan and set a legal precedent for today’s court battles on racial violence. 

 02   The Documentary

This documentary tells the story of a racist attack that took place in the home state of the KKK and how that landmark case is still used in court today to fight cases of hate crime. After Klansmen shot and injured five Black women in 1980 Chattanooga, the women were able to take the KKK to federal civil court using the long-forgotten Enforcement Act of 1871 - also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act. It was enacted at the time to curb KKK violence after the Civil War.
 
Randolph McLaughlin, the lawyer who represented the five Black women, argued successfully that the Act could still be applied to today’s Klan. The Act had not been used since the Reconstruction Era, despite Klan violence persisting through the years. It’s critical the film not only highlight the struggles and triumphs of these women but also the role McLaughlin's strategy has played in decades of civil court victories.
Ideally Civil War era Acts would not still be needed to fight organized hate in this country but even now the strategy is being used by civil rights attorneys around the country. We seek to celebrate Chattanooga's role in this historic turning point for civil rights litigation. 

Status: Pre-Production / Fundraising

Release: Spring 2022

Funding: 5% secured

Make a tax deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor.

The Net Resource Foundation

The mission of The Net Resource Foundation is to challenge systemic issues through mentorship and community-building programs in the South Chattanooga Community. We strongly believe that by being an active part of the community and assessing the needs from within, we can better serve our citizens and deliver high-quality programs customized to impact our neighborhood. Since our initial outreach in 2015, we have successfully impacted families through our after-school, summer youth, community feeding, and civic engager programs.

 

 03   Support & Funding Partners

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Fiscal Sponsor

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 04   Subscribe or Contact

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