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Twelve victims slain in Navy Yard

Demetrius Newton

Demetrius Newton

Attorney for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks dies

By Barry Burch, Jr.

The world has lost a brilliant mind.  At 85, Demetrius Newton, a civil rights attorney, who represented Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and other icons, has died.

Rep. John Rogers of Birmingham, and colleague of Newton (who was the first Black person to serve as speaker pro tem of the Alabama House), said he was informed by the congressman’s family that Newton had died on Wednesday morning. He had been suffering from an illness for a long time.

As reported by the grio, nother politician, Gov. Robert Bentley, who served with Newton in the Alabama House for eight years, commented. “He was a fine gentleman, and we had a strong mutual respect for each other. He will be greatly missed, not only by his own constituents – but also by the entire state of Alabama,” Bentley, a Republican, said.

Newton lived a successful life, which included careers as city attorney for Birmingham, serving in the Legislature and even making it to the ranks of speaker pro tem. According to the site, he was a polite man, who did not hesitate to offer a kind word for legislators and lobbyists when he saw them in the Statehouse hallways. His respect was unmatched, as the usually boisterous House chamber would quiet itself whenever Newton rose to speak.

Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn praised Newton, and outwardly expressed how well-respected he was by both sides of the political aisle. He said that when Republicans took over the majority, they unanimously a-greed that Newton should keep his seat in the front row of the Chamber.  The seat is typically reserved for leadership only.

“Rep. Newton was a true gentleman and I considered him to be a great friend for the 15 years that I had the honor of knowing him,” Hubbard said. He continued on to say that Newton was “an intelligent, fair, and kind man as well as a respected and knowledgeable legislator who fought for his district. His 27 years of service to the Alabama Legislature and his incredible impact on the Civil Rights movement will forever be a powerful part of Alabama history.”


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