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RFK Confers with NAACP on Mississippi

June 24, 1964 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy told a delegation from the NAACP today that the Government could not take preventive police action in racially troubled Mississippi.

He told the delegation, headed by Roy Wilkins (left), executive secretary of the NAACP, that he had considerably augmented the force of FBI agents in Mississippi. But, he added, police action cannot be taken under the Federal-state relationship.

Developments in Mississippi pushed all other considerations aside at the association’s 55th annual convention.

A leadership delegation headed by Wilkins conferred for more than an hour with the Attorney General, and then a group of about 1,800 delegates walked to the Justice Department.

There they marched past the Attorney General, who appeared with Mrs. Myrlie Evers and the leadership delegation. Mrs. Evers is the widow of Medgar Evers, the NAACP Mississippi state secretary who was assassinated last year.

A crowd applauded Mr. Kennedy when he emerged from the Justice Department building with Mrs. Evers. The Attorney General, Mrs. Evers, two of her children, and the NAACP delegation stood on the lower steps of the Justice Department building as the protest march began. The delegates carried signs denouncing the situation in Mississippi.

The Attorney General told the delegation that he hoped an improvement in the situation in Mississippi would result from President Johnson’s telephone conversation with Governor Paul Johnson Jr and the dispatching of Allen Dulles there in connection with the search for the missing civil rights workers.

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