26-Year-Old Woman Arrested for Attempting to Burn Down Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birth Home in Atlanta

A 26-year-old woman, Laneisha Shantrice Henderson, was apprehended in Atlanta for attempting to set fire to the birth home of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The suspect now faces charges of second-degree arson and interfering with government property.

According to the Atlanta Police Department, officers responded to a vandalism report and found Henderson being restrained by bystanders, including tourists from Utah and two off-duty New York City Police Department officers. It is alleged that Henderson was pouring gasoline onto the historic property.

Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum and Fire Department Battalion Chief Jerry DeBerry commend the bystanders for their quick action, preventing significant damage to the important historical site.

Chief Schierbaum expressed his gratitude, stating that the intervention “saved an important part of American history.” Henderson was taken to Grady Detention for evaluation, and she will subsequently be transferred to Fulton County Jail. Due to the federal status of King’s home, she may also face federal charges.

The King Center released a statement acknowledging the incident and expressing appreciation towards the law enforcement and the good Samaritans who averted the potential tragedy. They thanked the Atlanta Police Department, Atlanta Fire Department, the National Parks Service, and Mayor Andre Dickens for leading the efforts to ensure the safety of the national landmark and its adjacent neighbors.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The attempted arson was captured in a video shared on Twitter by Collin Rugg. In the video, he mentioned that 26-year-old Laneisha Shantrice Henderson was arrested and charged in the attempt to burn down Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home.

Fortunately, no significant damage was done to the historic property thanks to the alertness of the good Samaritans and the swift response of law enforcement.

This incident has brought attention to the need for continued vigilance and protection of historically significant landmarks like the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Authorities are likely to strengthen security measures for such valuable and iconic sites to prevent future attempts at vandalism or destruction.


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