Riley Said He Will Honor King During Inaugural

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Governor-elect Bob Riley said Friday he will “do everything humanly possible” to make sure slain civil rights leader Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. is honored during his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20.

But Riley did not commit to allowing a three-minute speech by civil rights icon Johnnie Carr during his swearing-in ceremony, as requested by state Rep. Alvin Holmes. The Montgomery Democrat is leader of the annual parade to honor King on the national holiday honoring his birthday, which is also Jan. 20.

The city of Montgomery has issued parade permits for both the inauguration activities and for the King parade and rally, both scheduled for Dexter Avenue and the Capitol steps in downtown Montgomery.

At a news conference Friday, Riley said he has spoken to Carr on the telephone and hopes to avoid a controversy.

Holmes also said he's willing to speak with Riley and will cancel the King parade and ceremony if the governor-elect will allow Carr to speak.