Inside city hall and over at the county courthouse, the white power-structure cannot agree on how to handle the direct action campaign that SCLC has just publicly announced. Newly elected Mayor Smitherman, a local refrigerator salesman, is a "moderate" segregationist. He hopes to attract northern business investment — Hammermill Paper of Pennsylvania is considering Selma as the location for a big new plant, but they will shy away if "racial troubles" shine a spotlight of negative media on the town. Smitherman has appointed veteran lawman Wilson Baker to head the city's 30-man police force. They and their supporters believe that the most effective method of countering civil rights protests (and avoiding bad press) is to "" as Police Chief Laurie Pritchett did in .


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