Longtime activist Faya Rose Toure leads a "die-in" on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a prominent landmark in Selma, Alabama. Police attacked civil rights marchers on the bridge 50 years ago at a protest that became known as "Bloody Sunday." Toure evokes Selma's past in her attempts to change the present.
Police Chief William Riley came to Selma in 2008. He was hired from the East Coast, an outsider untouched by local politics. He has no illusions about the tensions between police and black men but says it's disingenuous of activists to compare Selma to Ferguson, Missouri.
Riley found items from the past in the basement of Selma's old City Hall and had them displayed in glass cases. They include a gas mask and a cattle prod. They're pieces of history that serve as reminders of where Selma once was, Riley says.
Markers honoring civil rights activists who marched on Bloody Sunday stand at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where armed state troopers beat back peaceful civil rights marchers.
Toure says Selma gave so much to American democracy but the nation gave little back to this impoverished Alabama Black Belt city of 20,000 people. "People need to do something for Selma," she says. "They come, peer at us and leave."
Police respond to a shooting incident outside a neighborhood store in Selma. Rampant crime prompted the mayor to launch a campaign called "No more." Blue signs with those words can be seen on porches and front yards, but tackling crime has not been an easy task in the cash-strapped city.
A mural on a building at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge commemorates Bloody Sunday. Some scenes for the movie "Selma" were filmed near this building.
Confederate flags mark graves at Live Oak Cemetery. Controversy erupted after the city approved a new monument at the cemetery that honors Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general accused of massacring black soldiers and a "grand wizard" of the Ku Klux Klan.
The George Washington Carver public housing project was constructed after World War II for African-Americans. Brown Chapel AME Church, which sits at the edge of the Carver homes, played a major role in Selma's civil rights movement. It was where protesters gathered before they set out on their march on Bloody Sunday.
A civil rights mural decorates the side of a dilapidated building in downtown Selma. Nearly 42% of the city's population lives under the federal poverty line.
Riley tests the battery on a mobile command unit in the parking garage at the Selma Police Department. Riley describes himself as forward thinking but acknowledges that the past, at times, weighs heavy in Selma.