Memphis Lawyer Killed While Crossing the Street

Memphis attorney Richard B. Fields was killed Saturday after being struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in the city's Midtown area, The Commercial Appeal reports. A native of Modesto, Calif., Fields came to Memphis in 1969 with the “Teacher Corps,” a War on Poverty initiative that trained educators to teach in inner-city schools. He received his law degree from the University of Tennessee and went on to serve in several high-profile civil rights cases in Memphis involving school desegregation and racial employment discrimination. In one profile, The Memphis Flyer calls Fields a “Socratic gadfly,” who angered fellow Democrats when he supported efforts to keep state Sen. Ophelia Ford from being seated amidst allegations of fraud in her election, and had a public falling out with former Mayor Willie Herenton, whose rise to power he had been instrumental in orchestrating. Funeral arrangements were not available at press time.