Woman charged after allegedly trying to burn MLK’s birth home

Francis Akhalbey December 11, 2023
Laneisha Shantrice Henderson is accused of trying to burn MLK's birth home -- Photo Credit: Atlanta Police Department

Authorities in Atlanta have arrested and brought charges against a 26-year-old woman who allegedly tried to burn the birth home of iconic Civil Rights legend Martin Luther King Jr. Per FOX 5 Atlanta, Fulton County Magistrate Judge Holly Hughes on Saturday also ordered Laneisha Shantrice Henderson to remain in custody because of her unstable residential address and the circumstances surrounding the crime.

“She gave an address in a different state. So I find that there is a likelihood that she may not return to court,” said Hughes. “I’m extremely concerned about the randomness of this event. There does not seem to be any reason or tie to that particular location.”

The historic landmark Henderson allegedly tried to set on fire is situated on Auburn Avenue NE in the Sweet Auburn Historic District. The incident, which was captured on video, shows Henderson pouring a liquid – which authorities said was gasoline – on the property’s plants, porch, and front door.

The suspect, who also allegedly tried to set the home ablaze after pouring the gasoline, was ultimately restrained by two retired New York City Police officers and two Utah tourists until police responded to the scene.

Atlanta Fire Department Battalion Chief Jerry DeBerry told the news outlet that it could have taken a few seconds for the house to be set ablaze after it was doused with the gasoline.

Henderson has since been charged with arson in the second degree and interfering with government property. Federal charges could also be brought against her. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 11, 2023

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