In recent days, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has questioned Sen. Bernie Sanders’ commitment to civil rights, trying to cement her support among black voters who could be crucial in upcoming primaries such as South Carolina’s.
A lifeline has now arrived for the Sanders campaign, in the form of film more than half a century old.
On Monday, Kartemquin Films uploaded footage of a young man, wearing thick glasses, surrounded by police officers who grabbed him by his arms and carried him away.
The man looked as if he could be Sanders, so the company asked the public and Sanders to help confirm whether it was. On Friday, Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Sanders’ campaign, and Tad Devine, a senior adviser to the campaign, said Sanders had said it was him. What sealed it was the watch the man was wearing; Sanders recalled owning a watch like that, Devine said.
Sanders, then a 21-year-old student at the University of Chicago, was arrested Aug. 12, 1963, while protesting segregation in Englewood, where Chicago Public Schools was planning to build a school. The footage was shot by Jerry Temaner, one of the co-founders of Kartemquin Films. Sanders was charged with resisting arrest.