History-making Alabama sheriff to be honored in Washington, D.C.

History-making Alabama sheriff to be honored in Washington, D.C.
The late Macon County Sheriff Lucius D. Amerson will be honored at the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C. Amerson was the first black sheriff elected (1966) in the Deep South since Reconstruction. (Source: Courtesy: Frank Lee)

WASHINGTON, D.C., (WSFA) - A former Macon County sheriff will be the focus of an achievement ceremony Thursday evening in Washington, D.C.

In 1966, just over 100 years after the Civil War began, Lucius D. Amerson was sworn in as the sheriff of Macon County, Alabama. His election was the first by an African-American to a sheriff’s position in the Deep South since Reconstruction.

Amerson, who died at age 60 in 1994, enforced the laws of Macon County during a period of racial segregation in the 1960s. He served in the role for 20 years.

Amerson’s son, Anthony E. Amerson, will present a video screening of his father’s life and impact at The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum’s event, Witness: Rising in the Ranks, which is recognizing the achievements of black law enforcement officers in American history.

A panel discussion is also slated to discuss the impact of black officers in law enforcement and their community, as well as the swell of recently-elected or appointed black sheriffs, police officers, and other law enforcement professionals around the country.

In addition to moderation by Amerson’s son, panelists and speakers will include others such as current Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson; Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham; Macon County Commissioner Robert “Mike” Berry; Sheriff Paula Dance, the first African-American woman sheriff in North Carolina history; and Captain Sonia Pruitt of the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland, who is also Chairperson of the National Black Police Association.

Also present will be Macon County EMA Director Frank Lee, who told WSFA 12 News he stands “on the broad shoulders of this Outstanding Hero,” and added “I have personally taken this event in Washington D.C., and any future means of paying, overdue commemoration to a pioneer who paved and blazed the law enforcement trial for so many. As an elected official, I like so many, have been a benefactor of his sacrifices.”

Many of the sheriff’s possessions, including badges, awards, and papers, were donated by his son to the museum in previous years. The museum is located at 444 E St NW, Washington, D.C. You can view its website HERE.

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