FBI Slapped With ‘Community Note’ After Trying To Celebrate MLK Day
Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr delivers a speech at UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza, Berkeley, California, May 17, 1967. Approximately 7,000 people attended the event. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Federal Bureau of Investigation attempted to celebrate the late Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday — but X’s Community Notes quickly reminded the public that the FBI was responsible for wiretapping MLK.

The FBI shared a photo via X, showing the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial juxtaposed with the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

“This #MLKDay, the #FBI honors one of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights movement and reaffirms its commitment to Dr. King’s legacy of fairness and equal justice for all,” the caption read.

The Community Note that appeared after the photo was posted cited several articles from National Public Radio and CBS News, and read: “The FBI engaged in surveillance of King, attempted to discredit him, and used manipulation tactics to influence him to stop organizing. King’s family believe the FBI was responsible for his death.”

In December of 1999, a jury found that King had been a “victim of a conspiracy” rather than a lone wolf attacker when he was shot in 1968. An attorney for King’s family said during the trial that the cover-up after King’s assassination had involved not only the FBI, but also the CIA, the media, and U.S. Army Intelligence.

Documentary film director Sam Pollard explored the FBI’s interest in the Civil Rights leader in his 2020 film titled “MLK/FBI” — and he set the stage by explaining, “The first fear that [FBI director J. Edgar Hoover] had was that King was going to align himself with the Communist Party, which … J. Edgar Hoover was obsessed with destroying.”


During a POLITICO interview that was published on the eve of the holiday, independent presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. defended his family’s role in approving the wiretaps on King.

“They were betting not only the Civil Rights Movement but their own careers. And they knew that Hoover was out to ruin King,” Kennedy explained. “My father gave permission to Hoover to wiretap them so he could prove that his suspicions about King were either right or wrong. I think, politically, they had to do it.”

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