Birmingham, Alabama was setting up to a very dangerous stop for the Freedom Riders the police Commissioner himself and a police sergeant themselves were conspiring with the Klu Klux Klan. The original idea was to end the freedom ride in Alabama with by whatever means necessary. The klan had the police in their back pocket they had assurance that no police would intervene for 15 minuets. A well place FBI informant is responsible for this inside information that would be known about the police. Birmingham was too be the final spot for the attacks with them starting in Anniston.
On May 14 while the greyhound bus was attempting to leave the bus depot in Anniston the Klan blocked the exit and ended up slashing the tires on the bus. The mob that had gathered followed the bus to where it had to stop just outside of town in order to change the tire that had been slashed. When the mob had caught up to the bus they firebombed the bus and intended to burn all the people on the bus alive. What stopped the live burning of the freedom riders there has been debate whether a potential explosion prevented this from happening or an undercover agent with a gun prevented it. The highway patrol only fired warning shots in the air which prevented the members of the bus ride from being severely lynched.