Rose Sanders the wife of State Senator Hank Sanders was arrested Monday, July 16. According a report by to Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier, Sanders was arrested and charged with theft in the fourth degree after a police officer saw her remove a campaign sign from private property. She then led officers on a brief car chase which led to an additional charge of attempting to elude a police officer.
Sanders is also known as Faya Rose Toure is a well known Selma activist. She (like her husband) is a Harvard educated lawyer.
In 2013 Sanders husband told AL.Com that his wife was arrested for disorderly conduct after speaking out at a rally to protest the city donating land to be used to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest. According to Biography.com, Forrest was a Confederate general known to be one of the best calvarymen in the war. He was also a slave trader who was later involved in the Ku Klux Klan.
Sanders defended his wife in a lengthy post on his Facebook page (the original has been linked below but copy posted for archival purposes).
My wife, Faya Rose Toure, has been arrested concerning the election in Dallas County. The City of Selma was taking down the signs of Black candidates but not taking down the signs of White candidates. She went to City Hall and complained and wrote a letter, and they continued to take down Black candidates’ signs while leaving White candidates’ signs on city right of ways. And the City Police, who cannot solve the many murders that take place here, sent nine or more police officers to arrest one person, Faya Toure, for taking down the political signs they left while removing all Black candidates’ signs.
This is part of the scheme to throw the election, and everybody who sees this needs to tell everyone they know in Dallas County to vote tomorrow and to tell everyone they know to tell everyone THEY know to vote tomorrow. Please share this on your Facebook pages and with your friends. I am at the jail house now as this is being posted. I have not been able to see Faya, but I have talked to some people who were on the scene with her. At this moment they will not allow me – her attorney and husband – to see her or to talk to her. Again, please share this, and I’ll keep you up to date when I know more. Thank you.
UPDATE #1: First, I was at City Hall, and they refused to allow me to see her as her lawyer even though she is my client as well as my wife. Every client is entitled to see their lawyer. And when I got there, I saw this big Switzer sign in the police station. Of course, I don’t know why it was there. The sign in the police station reinforced my perception that this is about the election. I did learn that Faya’s arrest was about a sign that was in front of Tabernacle Baptist Church, the very first church that allowed voting rights mass meetings to be held during the Voting RIghts Movement. Church members came out and thanked Faya for removing that sign from right there in front of the Church.
The police decided it was a crime, although it was on public property. They had her in the city jail, and now they have moved her to the county jail, which is a few miles away. I am arriving there now, and I will update you further in this post as I know more. Police have set a $2,000 cash bond for her removing a sign outside Tabernacle Baptist Church, and Faya decided she was not going bond out. So she is in the county jail now. Thank you for sharing this and for your words, actions, thoughts, and prayers. I will continue to update you in this main post. Thank you.
UPDATE #2: I am now in the Dallas County jail with Faya Rose Toure as her lawyer as well as her husband. This is the first time I’ve had a chance to meet with her and talk to her in private. She has another important legal case set for tomorrow, and I am trying to prepare to handle that case in her stead. They have set her particular case arising out of this sign for sometime in September. I don’t know how long she may stay in jail. She refuses to pay an illegal and unjust bond for an illegal and unjust arrest.
The first step is for everybody in Dallas County to see that everybody votes because this is about trying to stop people from voting. The second step is to make sure she is alright while she is here in jail. Her not coming out of jail is designed to focus attention on the injustice not only of this situation but of the Selma authorities in general. If they will do this to a lawyer, who is the wife of the state Senator, what are they doing to others, especially to poor Black people?
I will have further updates coming. I have never asked anyone to share any of my Facebook posts before, and Faya and I and our family appreciate the hundreds of people who have done so and continue to do so as well as all those who continue to pray, think of her, and take action. Thank you.
UPDATE #3: I want to contrast the reaction of law enforcement about a sign that was illegally on public property with how they reacted on another much more serious case in December of last year. Faya Rose Toure, on December the 12th, the day of Doug Jones’ election victory, was in Orrville, another small town in Dallas County. She was driving my car, which had a “Vote or Die” sign on it. A White man came up and banged on my car, then tore the “Vote or Die” sign off my car, and then said, “Somebody is going to be killed tonight.”
Faya Rose was the only person in the car. She has tried diligently since that time to have the man arrested. No warrant has been issued; no person arrested; no person questioned; no action taken. This involved a death threat in front of multiple people, including a minister. Not one person with law enforcement has taken any action. Just compare this with the nine officers showing up to arrest Faya Rose concerning a sign placed illegally in front of Tabernacle Baptist Church where the first mass meetings were held during the Voting Rights Movement.
UPDATE #4: I just left the Dallas County jail meeting and talking with Faya Rose Toure. I can’t say that she is in good spirits for who could be in good spirits under these circumstances? I can say that she is in a determined spirit to meet this injustice with the full weight of moral force. That is why she will not post this outrageously unjust bond of $2,000 cash.
One of her regrets is that she will not be able to cast a vote in the Dallas County Probate Judge race tomorrow. She has worked so hard on this election with “Vote or Die.” She has, in fact, risked her life. Several White men threatened to kill her a couple of weeks ago just because they were mad and White and she was determined and Black. She knew she was risking her life, but she didn’t know she was risking her freedom. She indeed risked her freedom and lost because she is incarcerated in the Dallas County jail.
All she asks is that people in Dallas County go to the polls and vote tomorrow. Your vote is her freedom. Your vote is her reward for risking her life. Your vote is for justice and for history. I will go back to see her at the jail early tomorrow morning before guest hosting “Faya’s Fire” on Z105.3 FM Radio and online at http://newz1053radio.com/. Then I will go to court on another case of injustice she has been fighting for years. And then I will go vote. Please vote tomorrow. VOTE! Thank you.
UPDATE #5 (Tuesday morning): I am just leaving the Dallas County jail, and I was shocked that they have charged Faya Rose with shoplifting a sign from public property in a town that has an ordinance that prohibits any candidates’ signs from being on public property. Again, this sign was in front of the history Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Normally they let people out on misdemeanors. They sign their own bonds. But this was not the case with Faya Rose Toure. In fact, the $2,000 bond is a cash bond. In other words, they will not allow a bail bondsman to let you out. You have to put up the whole $2,000 in cash. But Faya Rose feels so strongly about this injustice, she would not make a bond even if a bail bondsman could do it.
What disturbs her the most is the actions of the police. Our 11-year-old granddaughter was with her, and as the police were taking Faya Rose away, she asked them if she could call someone to come pick up our 11-year-old granddaughter. They would not allow her to make that call or any call. The 11-year-old granddaughter was left on the street with strangers.
At 8:00 a.m. today, in just a few minutes, I will be on Z105.3 FM Radio and online at http://newz1053radio.com/. Again, thank you for all your thoughts, prayers, actions, and sharing of what is happening. Faya and all of us appreciate you so much. I will be voting today after I leave court handling a case that Faya Rose was representing that is also a case of great injustice. Remember to VOTE, get your friends and family to vote, and get everyone you know to vote. Thank you.
UPDATE #6: I hosted “Faya’s Fire” for Faya Rose Toure. It was a unique and powerful experience. Several people called in to talk about the injustice. My 11-year-old granddaughter came in and shared how she felt witnessing police brutality and how it made her feel when they wouldn’t let her grandmother call to make arrangements for someone to pick her up.
The Dr. Robert White of Alabama State University called in to talk about how these tactics of law enforcement often backfire. He felt strongly that this was designed to make sure that Faya Rose was in jail on election day so that she could not mobilize voters to come out to the polls. But he said that could backfire and more people may come out to vote as a result of this and other injustices.
I talked about the contrast between law enforcement’s reaction to a campaign sign with Faya Rose with their reaction to when someone tore a “Vote or Die” sign off my car, which she was driving, and issued a death threat. I talked about the three White men who confronted her on the street a few weeks ago and how she stood up to them and their threats but how nothing was done about their threats of violence in spite of complaints. I did not complete the hour because I had to rush to court to handle the case that Faya Rose had been working on for the last couple of years to help fight injustice.
Things did not go well in court, but that is a story for another day. I am going back to the jail to see Faya Rose and then I am going to vote. She wanted very much to be able to vote in this runoff election in Dallas County because she had worked so hard to get others out to vote. But she will not be able to vote. We urge others to make sure you vote for yourselves and for Faya Rose. Vote today in the Dallas County runoff election. Thank you.