Today is Martin Luther King Day. Not only is it a good day to remember the man, his mission and his achievements, it’s a good day to observe and remember what happened to those influential activists who work for peace and equality, Gandhi, King, Kennedy, Lennon , to name the more famous. It’s also a good time to remember those who have supported and helped the peace killers.
In April, 1968, at the age of 39, Dr Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. The commonly held view of the assassination is that it was (another one) committed by a ‘lone gunman’. James Earl Ray, an escaped prisoner from the Missouri State Penitentiary was arrested at Heathrow Airport in Britain, extradited to the US and tried for the murder of Dr King. He pleaded guilty, the court found him guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
What many people don’t know is that in 1998 there was a trial, King v. Jowers and Other Unnamed Coconspirators.
Loyd Jowers was the owner of the bar outside of which the assassin fired the fatal bullet. Racked with guilt, Jowers made a late life confession of his involvement in the MLK assassination. After hearing 70 witnesses testify over the course of one month, the 12-member jury took only one hour of deliberation to find the Memphis police and elements of the US government, among others, guilty of conspiracy in King’s assassination. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) results of the trial are available here. The case overview states “in King v. Jowers, a recent civil suit in a Tennessee state court, a jury returned a verdict finding that Jowers and unnamed others, including unspecified government agencies, participated in a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King.”
Here’s a list of just some of the overwhelming evidence of government complicity introduced in this trial and validated in the jury’s guilty verdict:
- Usual special body guards provided by the Memphis police were advised they “weren’t needed” on the day of the assassination.
- Regular and constant police protection was removed from Dr. King an hour before the assassination.
- Dr. King’s room was changed from a secure 1st-floor room to an exposed balcony room.
- US 111th Military Intelligence Group were at Dr. King’s location during the assassination.
- The 20th Special Forces Group had an eight-man sniper team at the assassination location on that day.
- Memphis police ordered the bushes multiple witnesses reported as the source of shooting cut down shortly after the assassination.
- Along with sanitizing a crime scene, police abandoned the standard investigative procedure of interviewing witnesses who lived by the scene of the shooting.
- The rifle James Earl Ray delivered was not matched to the bullet that killed Dr. King, and was not sighted to accurately shoot.
“We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience.” — Coretta Scott King, King Family Press Conference
The reason many don’t know of the trial and the information that was revealed in it is because it was completely censored by the media. US corporate media did not cover the trial or interview the King family, and textbooks omit this information.
“Apart from the courtroom participants, only Memphis TV reporter Wendell Stacy and I attended from beginning to end this historic three-and-one-half week trial. Because of journalistic neglect, scarcely anyone else in this land of ours even knows what went on. After critical testimony was given in the trial’s second week before an almost empty gallery, Barbara Reis, U.S. correspondent for the Lisbon daily Publico who was there several days, turned to me and said, “Everything in the U.S. is the trial of the century. O.J. Simpson’s trial was the trial of the century. Clinton’s trial was the trial of the century. But this is the trial of the century, and who’s here?” – Journalist and author James Douglass ( http://ctka.net/pr500-king.html )
The King family believes the government’s motivation to assassinate Dr King was to prevent his imminent effort to camp in and occupy Washington, D.C. until the Vietnam War was ended and the war’s resources were redirected to end poverty and invest in US infrastructure.
Barry Zweiker summarizes the case in this six-minute video.