Laneisha Shantrice Henderson, an American woman has been arrested after attempting to burn down Dr Martin Luther King’s childhood home.
The Atlanta Police Department said the woman poured gasoline over the house’s front porch and bushes before being stopped and detained by two off-duty New York Police Department officers who were visiting the home.
The woman, identified as Laneisha Shantrice Henderson, was later arrested by responding Atlanta officers and charged with attempted arson.
Below, we produce everything we know about this insane act.
Who is Laneisha Shantrice Henderson?
Laneisha Shantrice Henderson, 26, is an American woman who was arrested for attempting to burn down the childhood home of Dr King.
Atlanta police were called to King’s birth home on Auburn Ave. near the King Center just after 5:45 p.m Thursday.
Two tourists from Utah saw the woman dousing the plants, porch, and the front door of the home with what smelled like gasoline.
The bystanders told officers they intervened when they saw her try to ignite a lighter.
Meanwhile, two off-duty NYPD officers visiting the area were able to detain the woman until APD officers arrived at the scene.
Video shows the moment Laneisha Henderson was attempting her arson before getting arrested…
APD arrested 26-year-old Laneisha Shantrice Henderson and charged her with criminal attempt arson and criminal attempt interference with government property.
Atlanta Fire Department Battalion Chief Jerry DeBerry said the house could have been quickly burned to the ground had the witnesses not intervened.
“It could have been a matter of seconds before the house was engulfed in flames,” DeBerry said.
“That action saved an important part of American history tonight,” Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum told reporters after the arrest.
Because King’s home is federal property, Henderson could face further federal charges.
The King Center released the following statement:
“Tonight, an unfortunate incident occurred at the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as an individual attempted to set fire to this historic property.
“Fortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful, thanks to the brave intervention of good Samaritans and the quick response of law enforcement.
“We thank the Atlanta Police Department, Atlanta Fire Department, the National Parks Service, and Mayor Andre Dickens for leading the efforts to ensure the safety of our cherished national landmark and its adjacent neighbors.
“Our prayers are with the individual who allegedly committed this criminal act,”
The fire department’s HAZMAT team will work to clean up the gasoline spill.
Suspect Laneisha Shantrice Henderson has been charged with arson in the 2nd degree and interfering with government property.
She has been booked into Fulton County Jail.
Woman Tries to Burn MLK Home
American woman, Laneisha Shantrice Henderson was arrested for trying to burn MLK birth home. What do we know about the iconic residence?
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta at this home of his maternal grandparents, A.D. and Jennie Williams, on January 15, 1929. A.D. Williams purchased the house in 1909.
When Martin Luther King, Sr. married Alberta Williams, the King family moved into the house on Auburn Avenue where they lived until 1941.
The birth home is one block east of Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.
The birth home is located in the residential section of the Auburn Avenue Historic District.
It is a two-story house with a front porch, parlor, study, kitchen, dining room, bedroom and bathroom on the first level. The second floor includes four bedrooms and a bathroom.
Tours of Dr. King’s birth home are conducted by the National Park Service.
Registration is required at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Visitor Center and must be made in person upon arrival.
Tours are limited to 15 persons. The 30-minute tour is conducted every hour.
The home has been undergoing renovations in recent weeks.
While the home has undergone various renovations over the years, the current project is set to address major structural and system improvements, including electrical, HVAC, and fire suppression as well as structural enhancements including additional crawlspaces, window and door repairs, exterior siding and porch renovations, exterior painting, driveway re-paving, foundation re-pointing, replacement of the backyard fence, and drainage improvements.
The current renovations will take place until the end of 2025.
The home will be closed until the project is finished.
Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr.; January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister, activist, and political philosopher who was one of the most prominent leaders in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.
A Black church leader and a son of early civil rights activist and minister Martin Luther King Sr., King advanced civil rights for people of color in the United States through nonviolence and civil disobedience.
Inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi, he led targeted, nonviolent resistance against Jim Crow laws and other forms of discrimination in the United States.
King participated in and led marches for the right to vote, desegregation, labor rights, and other civil rights. He oversaw the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and later became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
As president of the SCLC, he led the unsuccessful Albany Movement in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize some of the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama. King was one of the leaders of the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The civil rights movement achieved pivotal legislative gains in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
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