Greenetrack says their legal battles mirror civil rights battles

GREENE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - In a letter addressed to Governor Bentley, the current Greenetrack President used statements made by the gambling corruption trial judge about Sen. Scott Beason and District Judge Ben Lewis to compare Greenetrack's legal battles to fights against segregation and racism.

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson issued an opinion relating to the use of Sen. Beason and former representative Lewis as witnesses in the gambling corruption trial. Thompson wrote Beason and Lewis had, "ulterior motives rooted in naked political ambition and pure racial bias."

In a letter to Governor Bentley, Greenetrack President Luther Winn. Jr. cited Thompson's statement and said they had seen such bias firsthand relating to the raid of Greenetrack.

The letter starts off, "It is a terrible irony that in the same week we will have honored two men whose contributions to freedom and equality left an indelible mark on the history of our nation and upon our State, a federal judge reminded us that the evils they fought still persist."

Winn goes on to say that legislators used tricks such as "illegal search warrants" in a deliberate effort to deprive the citizens of Greene County of their constitutional and civil rights.


"As we have said all along, our fight is not about bingo, but about the willingness of those in authority to violate the fundamental rights of the citizens of Greene County," Winn writes.

"In the past, the authorities used dogs, fire hoses, and bicycle chains to carry out their racist oppressive agenda. Today, they use more sophisticated weapons like illegal search warrants, altered documents, false testimony, and corrupt 'political manipulation.'"

The letter ends by stating that racism and inequality still "infect our state" and admonishes, "Governor Bentley, the people of Greene County now ask, where do you stand?"

In response to the letter, Governor Bentley issued this statement:

"I assigned Attorney General Luther Strange the primary responsibility for ensuring that Alabama's gambling laws are enforced statewide.  I fully support General Strange in his efforts to enforce the laws of Alabama, including laws against illegal gambling. The Courts should decide if gambling operations and machines are legal, and the decision should be applied equally across the board."

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