Kamala Harris Floats Assassination Conspiracy Theory About MLK

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A lone gunman named James Earl Ray shot civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) in the face while he stood on a second-story balcony of a Memphis hotel at 6:05 p.m. on April 4, 1968. The iconic minister died roughly an hour later at a local hospital. His assassination sparked nationwide riots accompanied by speculation regarding Ray’s motive. During a recent interview, Vice President Kamala Harris appeared to float a long-debunked conspiracy theory regarding the event.

On September 5, The Nation published excerpts from an interview with the vice president conducted by John Nichols, its national affairs correspondent. He explained that Harris drew a connection between the civil rights and labor movements of the 1960s.

Harris told Nichols that MLK was assassinated because “he was bringing together” workers and civil rights activists. According to Harris, MLK understood the two groups’ common interests and the power he could create by uniting them.

The vice president’s claim appears to bolster a long-standing conspiracy theory, claiming the government and other monied interests conspired to kill MLK after he turned his attention to organized labor.

MLK’s surviving family members bolstered that claim in 1998 when they sued Memphis restaurateur Loyd Jowers after he appeared on a 1993 airing of ABC News’ “Prime Time Live” and claimed he conspired with US government officials and the Mafia to assassinate King.

The jury sided with the King family, finding that “[Jowers] and others, including government agencies,” participated in MLK’s death. However, the US Justice Department conducted an exhaustive investigation in the wake of that civil trial and determined the government had nothing to do with the assassination.

Harris’s office declined to respond to a request from The Washington Free Beacon for a comment regarding the connection between her remarks and the theory the government conspired to kill MLK.

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