Civil rights attorney Richard Fields killed crossing street - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Civil rights attorney Richard Fields killed crossing street

(WMC-TV) - Longtime Memphis civil rights attorney Richard Fields was killed while crossing the street in Midtown Saturday.

According to police, the 65-year-old was walking in the 1200 block of Peabody Avenue when he was struck by a vehicle.

Police said there was no crosswalk or traffic signal where Fields crossed the street.

Fields began practicing law in Memphis in 1976. He worked on cases involving school desegregation, and racial employment discrimination.

Also, he was an outspoken advocate for African-American equality. But in the final chapters of professional life, Fields' candid nature put him in the crosshairs of a political crossfire.

In the early 90s he was a champion for the city's first elected black mayor, Willie Herenton. But in 2008 Fields and Herenton would become enemies.

Herenton accused Fields of concocting a sex scandal to ruin his chances at a fifth term.

In 2006, Fields spoke out against what he called unqualified candidates running for office in Memphis and Shelby County.

Fields opinions would eventually come back to haunt him. In June of 2012 the Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended Fields from practicing law for failing to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding a complaint of misconduct.

Funeral arrangements for Richard Fields have not been finalized.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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