Marker Text: During the Albany Movement (1961-1963), as part of the Civil Rights Movement, the area here bordering the former Albany City Hall and jail became known as Freedom Alley. Located at what is now the Central Square Government Complex, the location served as a holding spot as hundreds of Civil Rights protestors awaited booking during police chief Laurie Pritchett’s campaign of mass arrests. To avoid violent confrontations and charges of violating civil rights, Pritchett authorized arrests for minor offenses, which were harder to dispute in court. Using this tactic, Pritchett’s police force arrested far more inmates than the Albany jail could hold, and many protestors were sent to jails in neighboring counties. As many as 1,500 protestors were arrested. Many demonstrators, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., were arrested and jailed multiple times during the Albany Movement.
Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, Albany Civil Rights Institute, Inc., and Albany-Dougherty Historic Preservation Commission.