U.S. Supreme Court
Taylor v. Louisiana, 370 U.S. 154 (1962)
Taylor v. Louisiana
Decided June 4, 1962
370 U.S. 154
Six Negroes were convicted in a state court of violating Louisiana's breach of the peace statute, and were fined and sentenced to jail. Four of them went into a waiting room customarily reserved for white people at a bus depot and, when requested by police to leave, they refused to do so, claiming that they were interstate passengers. The other two were arrested while sitting nearby in the automobile which had brought the six to the bus station. There was no evidence of violence, but the trial court said that the mere presence of Negroes in a white waiting room was likely to give rise to a breach of the peace and was sufficient evidence of guilt. It held that four had violated the breach of the peace statute, and that the other two had counseled and procured them to do so.
Held: since the only evidence to support the charge was that the defendants were violating a custom that segregated people in waiting rooms according to their race, a practice not allowed by federal law in interstate transportation facilities, the judgments are reversed. Pp. 370 U. S. 154-156.