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THE STORY

CLEARING LARRY FLOYD

Larry Floyd loved his father “Junior” Floyd, who in 1963 became the first black police officer in Hattiesburg, Ms. He was a legend in his own time, a hero in the black community who had both power and respect. But at home, things were much different and in 1977 a murder would spark a mystery that remains unsolved.

Junior Floyd arrested his own son Larry for the murder even though according to Larry and other family members, he was not in town at the time of the crime and there was no evidence to tie him to the murder. Yet, a confused 16 year-old Larry trusted his father’s advice and signed a guilty plea. There was no investigation and young Larry was sentenced and sent to the notorious Parchman Prison.

Why would a father do this? Larry and family members claim it was because Junior was an alcoholic wife abuser and Larry, who was coming of age as a

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young man, refused to stand by and let his mother be assaulted. By arresting Larry, Junior eliminated him as a threat in his own home while easing the pressure put upon him at work to solve the murder of a white man, a murder that was part of the escalating racial violence in Hattiesburg during the 1970s. Junior, who was promoted to detective for solving the crime, may have been a victim as well.

14 years later, Larry escaped from prison in women’s clothing, was recaptured, and beaten severely by a group of twenty-some corrections officers. The Mississippi Attorney General, state prosecutors, and Federal Attorney General Cynthia Alksne convicted some of the guards sending them to federal prison.

But there would be no justice for Larry who was sent back to prison spending the next 10 years in solitary confinement. In 2001, thanks to a clever letter writing campaign to over 150 politicians that prompted inquiries from the likes of Barney Frank and Trent Lott, Larry was paroled.

Today, Larry Floyd remains on parole and in a twist of fate, he has emulated the “hero” template of his father by risking his life nightly as a security guard patrolling a dangerous neighborhood in Hattiesburg. He has also worked a second job during the day to make ends meet. Although he has been out of Jail since 2001, has worked, raised a family, and contributed to law enforcement, though he remains a paroled criminal and is still considered to be guilty of a crime many believe he never committed.

Clearing Larry Floyd is an evolving saga. This documentary project is dedicated to detailing this incredibly dramatic story and advocating for Larry to be finally exonerated and restored to complete citizenship through a gubernatorial pardon by Governor Bryant in 2016.

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