FBI’s post honoring MLK flagged by X with fact-checking community note

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) honored the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on X on Monday, before the “Community Notes” feature on the social media platform hit the agency with a crowdsourced fact check showing its history with the Civil Rights Movement leader.

“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 FBI’s post on X read.

But directly underneath the post is a community note fact checking the agency, pointing out that the King family believes the FBI was responsible for King’s death.

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“The FBI engaged in surveillance of King, attempted to discredit him, and used manipulation tactics to influence him to stop organizing,” the note read. “King’s family [believes] the FBI was responsible for his death.”

The note also points to an article by CBS, “MLK’s Family Feels Vindicated,” which was published on Dec. 8, 1999, and explained how King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, felt vindicated when a jury found her husband was the victim of a conspiracy, not an assassin.

“I think that if people will look at the evidence that we have, it’s conclusive, and I think the Justice Department has a responsibility to do what it feels is the right thing to do, the just thing to do,” King told CBS Early Show Anchor Bryant Gumbel just one day after the December 1999 trial verdict.

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Martin Luther King Jr. was an American minister and activist.  (Getty Images )

The article also notes that a cover-up after the Memphis 1968 assassination involved the CIA, media, Army Intelligence and the FBI, according to King’s lawyer, William Pepper.

The community note also referenced an NPR story about a document that exposed how the FBI tried to destroy Martin Luther King Jr. with wiretaps and blackmail.

The article, published on Jan. 18, 2021, said the FBI conducted an “intense campaign to discredit” King and his work, which was shown in the documentary, “MLK/FBI.”

Then-President Lyndon B. Johnson, through the late Bill Moyers, gave Hoover permission to secretly record King during the investigation.

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FBI building in DC

The FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover headquarters building in Washington on Nov. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

“The FBI has long acknowledged the abuses of power that took place under Director J. Edgar Hoover and the deplorable actions taken against Dr. King and others involved in the civil rights movement,” the FBI told Fox News Digital. “Today, the FBI honors Dr. King’s life and legacy and uses those lessons from our past to reaffirm our commitment to equal justice, fairness, and diversity.”

The FBI honored the late leader on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is celebrated on the third Monday of every January.

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The holiday honors the civil rights leader most remembered for his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963 during the 1963 March on Washington, D.C.

King also took part in the Selma March, which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act – legislation that helped African Americans exercise their right to vote.

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