In the 1950s, in the USA, the Montgomery City Code required that all public transportation should be segregated, while bus drivers boasted the powers of a police officer of the city in addition to the actual charge of any bus for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the code. When operating a bus, drivers were required providing separate, though equal accommodations for white and black passengers by simply assigning corresponding seats. It was accomplished with a line in the middle of the bus separating white passengers in the front of the vehicle and African-American ones in the back.
When an African-American passenger boarded the bus, he or she had to get on at the front to pay the required fare and after this get off and re-board the bus via the back door. When the seats in the front of filled up and more white folks got on, the bus driver would move back the sign, which separates black and white people and, if required, ask black people to give up their seat.
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus to get home. She took a seat in the first of several rows for black passengers. In spite of the fact the city's bus ordinance gave drivers the authority to assign seats, it didn't give them the power to demand a passenger to give up a seat to anybody. Nevertheless, Montgomery bus drivers had adopted the custom of demanding black passengers to give up their seats to white folks, if no other seats were available. If they protested, the bus driver had the authority to call the police to have them removed.
As the bus continued on its route, it started filling with white passengers. When the bus was full, the driver noticed that several white folks were standing in the aisle. He immediately stopped the vehilce and moved the sign separating the passengers back one row and asked four black folks to give up their seats. Three of them complied, while Rosa refused. The driver asked why she wasn’t going to stand up and Rosa answered that from her point of view it made no sense to give up her seat. The driver called the police and she was arrested. Later, she recalled that her refusal wasn't because of tiredness, but because she was tired of giving up her seat.
Rosa was officially charged with violation of Chapter 6, Section 11, of the Montgomery City Code. She black woman was taken to police headquarters, and later that night, she was released on bail. Her arrest provoked a series of boycotts of Montgomery's city buses by the African-American community.
In the 1950s, in the USA, the Montgomery City Code required that all public transportation should be segregated, while bus drivers boasted the powers of a police officer of the city in addition to the actual charge of any bus for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the code.