On Dec. 21, 2010, 10 people — including three elected officials — were arrested in Brooks County, Ga., in connection with alleged voter fraud. This group, portrayed as criminals in local and national media, would become known as the Quitman 10 (plus two who were arrested later). For newly minted Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a conviction in a major voter fraud case would be a huge victory, but in the four-year investigation that followed, not one of the Quitman 10+2 was found guilty of a crime.
With Kemp now governor of Georgia, the story of the Quitman 10+2 provides a window into why many African-Americans look at the policies Kemp enacted during his time as secretary of state and see them as part of a larger pattern in Georgia — and in many other states around the country — where the law, government authority and conservative media are used to try to intimidate them away from exercising political power.
Video produced by Sam Matthews and Eileen Felix.