EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on April 14, 2022
Last Monday marked the 54th anniversary of the assassination of Civil Rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tenn. Every step towards freedom for the Black man in this country has been measured with his blood.
Although James Earl Ray was convicted in 1969 for the crime, little mention is made that three decades later a Memphis jury deemed the United States government “guilty of conspiring to assassinate Dr. King Jr.”
On Dec. 8, 1999, 12 jurists unanimously rendered a guilty verdict after a four-week civil trial of listening to more than 70 witnesses’ testimonies. The King family, who filed the civil suit, was awarded $100, which they donated to charity.
During the trial, “The government’s carefully interwoven plot to kill Dr. King” was revealed. Loyd Jowers said the kill shot was fired from behind his Jim’s Grill, which was close to the Lorraine Motel, whose balcony King was standing on when shot down on April 4, 1968.
It was determined that “local, state and federal U.S government agencies, and the Mafia, were all involved.”
Earl Ray reportedly was renting a room above Jowers’ restaurant then and was scapegoated in the plot.
In a press-conference transcript, Jowers named Memphis Police Department Officer Lt. Earl Clark as Dr. King’s assassin.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, Jowers insisted that “a Memphis produce dealer, who was involved with the Mafia, gave [Jowers] $100,000 to hire an assassin and assured him that the police would not be at the scene of the shooting.”
Jowers also allegedly received the murder weapon prior to the murder from someone named Raoul.
“There is abundant evidence of a major high-level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King Jr.,” commented Mrs. Coretta Scott-King after expressing gratitude to the jury. “And the civil court’s unanimous verdict has validated our belief. I wholeheartedly applaud the verdict of the jury and I feel that justice has been well served in their deliberations.” Adding: “This verdict is not only a great victory for my family, but also a great victory for America. It is a great victory for truth itself.”
While the government, at various levels, has long been suspected of being “deeply involved in the assassination of my husband” she noted, she’s thankful that the “full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law.”
She concluded, “Therefore, is a great victory for justice and truth. Not only for the peace of mind of our family but to also bring closure and healing to the nation.” Dr. King’s son, Dexter Scott King, called his father’s assassination “the most incredible cover-up of the century.”
King’s other children, Martin Luther King III and Bernice King, also expressed thanks at the result and noted “the seriousness with which U.S. intelligence agencies planned the murder of” their father.
They grew to become aware “of the threat” their father’s movement “represented to the powers that be during the spring of 1968.”
“No surprises here, that’s this country’s history,” contends social analyst, La Meh Mua. “The U.S. government has also been closely linked to the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X as well.”
Observers state how ironic is it that 54 years after Memphis, the very same government which now honors Dr. King with a national holiday, is also responsible for his assassination?