Dexter King testimony: December 1, 1999

MLK Jr's son Dexter King's testimony at the King v. Jowers trial focused on the big picture, not the microanalysis of evidence debunking the official lie that a lone racist supposedly did the crime. That is a more productive approach at this late date.

THE CIRCUIT COURT OF SHELBY COUNTY, TENNESSEE
THIRTIETH JUDICIAL DISTRICT AT MEMPHIS
_____________________________________________
CORETTA SCOTT KING, MARTIN LUTHER KING, III, BERNICE KING, DEXTER SCOTT KING and YOLANDA KING, Plaintiffs,
Vs. Case No. 97242-4 T.D.
LOYD JOWERS and OTHER UNKNOWN CO-CONSPIRATORS, Defendant
s.

Dexter King, selected testimony:

Dexter King shakes hands with James Earl Ray. Toward the end of Ray's life, the family fought unsuccessfully for Ray to have a trial (which he never had) and then, after Ray's death, sued in Memphis to prove the true story.

Q. Historically have you become aware of what happened to your father and his organization after he came out against the war in Vietnam on April 4, 1967?

A. Yes. He made the statement at the Riverside Church in New York "why I oppose the war in Vietnam." Interestingly enough, as we've been going through this period, it is so amazing for me that as soon as this issue of potential involvement of the federal government came up, all of a sudden the media just went totally negative against the family. I couldn't understand that. I kept asking my mother, what is going on? She reminded me, she said, Dexter, your dad and I have lived through this once already. You have to understand that when you take a stand against the establishment, first you will be attacked, there is an attempt to discredit, second, to try and character assassinate, and, third, ultimately physical termination or assassination, in that order. Now, the truth of the matter is if my father had not -- if he had stopped and not spoken out, if he had just somehow compromised, he would probably still be here with us today.

Q. If he remained a civil rights leader?

A. Exactly. If he had just talked about riding in the front of the bus, being able to sit down at lunch counters, that was not threatening. In fact, that expanded the economic base when there was integration. But the minute you start talking about redistribution of wealth and stopping a major conflict, which also has economic ramifications, and he understood the injustice and the disparity of African-American men fighting on the front lines in a disproportionate number losing their lives with their white comrades but yet could not even come home and eat at the same lunch counter with their white comrades they just fought with in Vietnam or could not live in the same neighborhood or any number of things, he saw this was a major injustice and what it was doing to the black family, the way it was destroying families, all these young black men being sent away and dying in disproportionate numbers. So to make a stand, the fact that a lot of people, soldiers who were on leave were hearing his message, and there was this fear of, you know, desertion, black soldiers saying I'm not going to fight this unjust war, why am I here, so he was certainly seen as a threat. Unfortunately he was not. It was a real tragedy. As he said, there cannot be any great disappointment where there is no great love, I'm forcing my country to live up to its truth. And the rest is history. ...

"have you forgotten that the man which we honor -- this was around the King holiday celebration -- was one of the most controversial individuals of his time. In fact, tell me how he went from being public enemy number one in the 1960's to a national hero with a holiday in the 1980's. Explain that to me. Well, the point I'm making is that he can be relegated to I-have-a-dream land because he is not here. Certainly in death he can be martyred and put on a pedestal, but does America really want to deal with what he was fighting for, what he ultimately died for, in terms of solving the triple evils of poverty, racism, violence and war. ...."

"we were requesting what we saw as a similar model to South Africa's Truth & Reconciliation Commission. We really felt if this truth was going to come out, it had to be done in the context of amnesty or immunity and a healing, a cleansing, that when there are crimes against the people, if you will, by the State, there has to be some type of process so that people can come forward without fear of reprisals ...."

"We're in this to use the teachings that my father taught us in terms of nonviolent reconciliation. It works. I mean, we're living together in the South today because of that great movement, black and white together, different types of advances that have occurred as a matter of a peaceful, nonviolent movement. We know that it works. So, therefore, we have to be true to our cause. We have to practice what we preach. So what we're saying is that we're not looking to -- we're not looking to put people in prison. What we're looking to do is get the truth out so that this nation can learn and know officially. I frankly feel I already know the truth. And, I mean, if the world never finds out officially, it is never broadcast across the world, that's a tragedy."

 


 

[bold added for emphases, not in the original]

Good afternoon, Mr. King.

A. Good afternoon.

Q. Thank you for being with us this afternoon. Would you state, please, your full name and address for the record.

A. Dexter Scott King, 449 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia, 30312, which is my business address.

Q. And what do you presently do?

A. Well, I currently serve as chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

In Atlanta, Georgia?

A. That's correct.

Q. And how long have you been in that position?

A. Almost five years. Exactly five years at the end of this month.

Q. Tell the Court and the jury what you have done previously, what other activities you have been in?

A. Well, I've worked at the King Center for a number of years in different capacities heading up the various programs, serving as a special assistant to the founder, my mother, Coretta Scott King.

Q. How old were you, Mr. King, when your father was taken?

A. I was seven years of age.

Q. Do you recall any feelings, any emotions or thoughts that occurred around that time?

A. The thing I remember most is that we were all trying to move on with our lives. My mother was very strong and very stoic and what I felt was a strong example. So in retrospect, I feel like we really didn't have an opportunity to mourn because we transformed that experience into a triumph over tragedy, or so we thought at that time.

Q. How long did that kind of stoicism continue?

A. I would say literally up until the past couple years when we first got involved with new information and evidence regarding my father's death.

Q. And could you describe for this Court and jury how it was that you and the family eventually did decide to become involved with this issue?

A. Well, it was actually a New York Times reporter that had reached out to my family when James Earl Ray first went in the hospital, when it was first reported that he was in a coma and having liver trouble, which I believe must have been December of 1996. I'm not -- my dates are not necessarily accurate, but I remember it was December. Then January, I remember vividly because I was away on vacation after the King holiday the latter part of January, and I was out of the country, so I called to check my answering service, and there was a message from a reporter, which I didn't know at the time, because it was just a paging service, and the only thing there was a number, but I called the number and essentially was told by the reporter that they were working on a story, that they were sorry to bother me, they felt it might be a little awkward, but they had gotten word from the Ray family that they wanted to reach out to us, the King family. While it was awkward, they felt that their loved one was innocent. They never wanted to bother us in the past, but because he was near death or having a terminal illness, it was kind of a now-or-never proposition. All they were really asking is would we come and testify, would we make a plea for a trial, not dealing with any sense of guilt. At that time we had not seen the evidence. Of course, we knew of your work, but we had not seen anything. We basically caucused with the family, and all of us were traveling in different places, but by phone on a conference call we took a consensus to find out how we should respond, and the general feeling is that whether he is innocent or guilty, the man deserves a trial, a real trial, which he never received, to hear the evidence and get information out. I think at that point we were resolute about that, that we were going to make this statement. And that's what happened. Late February, mid-February, we held a press conference where all of the family members were present and we essentially said why we were making a stand, taking a stand, in support of the trial. From that point forward we, of course, reached out to you, which at that time we were presented with certain evidence and we began to see the picture and it became more evident that this had to come out, there had to be a forum for information at least to be heard. As you know, my mother and I came to Memphis, came here and testified in Judge Brown's courtroom, in regards to testing the rifle. From that point forward things evolved. For want of a better term, there was a snowball effect where people started coming forward independently, just reaching out to myself, to my family, and all kinds of information started coming forward.

Q. It sort of opened up the gate?

A. Yes. It was really literally a flood gate of information and people who -- I recall one letter I read from a gentleman who said, you know, I've been in silent sympathy with your family for the past almost thirty years, and it discussed their background, the fact that they served in various capacities in the federal government, the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the fact that we are on the right track, that Ray did not do it, you are right, stand your ground, we support you, the fact that these things happened, it is happening today, the way in which he was set up, that's common protocol. So all of these types of letters came in. The interesting thing is we didn't know what to believe, because we are not investigators. We have no experience in deciphering what is fact from fiction. But in this instance so much information came to the forefront that we were looking for a forum where the, quote, experts could really separate truth from -- you know, fact from fiction.

Q. And what is the best forum? What did you come to believe was the best forum for that to take place?

A. We felt a court of law, where we would have twelve independent jurors who could hear information and determine for themselves. I just felt if twelve people -- whatever decision they came up with after hearing the information, we could live with that. That would help to bring about closure and resolution.

Q. Mr. King, how do you answer the criticism that has been leveled at the family that the family's involvement in this case at this point in time is driven by profit or by a concern for generating a project, a movie project, or something of that sort to generate money?

A. I've heard that before, and it is appalling to me. Not to be dramatic about it, but for anyone to insinuate or to think that we or anyone, frankly, would try to profit off of someone's tragedy, off the tragedy of a loved one -- you know, the question that would often be asked is why now, why thirty years later? Well, I was seven years old. What am I going to do, ask, well, I want to know who killed my father at seven years old? Sure, I wanted to know, but the thing that was so interesting is all my life, the main question that has been asked over and over by reporters or common folk is do you believe James Earl Ray killed your father? Now, I'm thinking to myself --almost I guess thirty years now people continue to have asked that question, including the media, and it is ironic that the only reason we got involved with this was because the press beat our door down until finally we made a statement. Our typical posture was no comment. We just didn't deal with it. Maybe we were in denial. Who knows. I believe we really were trying to move on with our lives. So there is a bit of resentment, because the very forces that drew us into this are now saying, why are you doing it? Yet you can't close Pandora's box once you open it. It evolves. So it is the most hurtful thing, frankly, to have to endure, someone questioning it.

Q. How do you answer the criticism, though, of the family has been manipulated from the beginning of its involvement up to the present time and even into these proceedings here, that these proceedings are all part of a manipulation of the family?

A. Well, that, again, is hard to hear. I would have to say, coming from not only one generation or let's say two parents who were in their own right very strong individuals who carried a mantle of leadership, to think that somehow we could be manipulated is really insulting, because what that is saying is that, you know, this family was able to make sacrifices and to contribute to ultimately what I believe has been one of the most important social movements in this country and endure so much, along with others, endure so much trauma and tragedy, and yet somehow we all of a sudden have lost our minds. I mean, that doesn't -- it is not logical. So no, we have not been manipulated. I think we have done what most people do when they see something in front of them that doesn't add up. You ask the question. Then one question leads to another. Certainly, as I said, this was not something that we sought out, it ought sought us out. I think that makes all the difference in the world.

Q. Historically have you become aware of what happened to your father and his organization after he came out against the war in Vietnam on April 4, 1967?

A. Yes. He made the statement at the Riverside Church in New York "why I oppose the war in Vietnam." Interestingly enough, as we've been going through this period, it is so amazing for me that as soon as this issue of potential involvement of the federal government came up, all of a sudden the media just went totally negative against the family. I couldn't understand that. I kept asking my mother, what is going on? She reminded me, she said, Dexter, your dad and I have lived through this once already. You have to understand that when you take a stand against the establishment, first you will be attacked, there is an attempt to discredit, second, to try and character assassinate, and, third, ultimately physical termination or assassination, in that order. Now, the truth of the matter is if my father had not -- if he had stopped and not spoken out, if he had just somehow compromised, he would probably still be here with us today.

Q. If he remained a civil rights leader?

A. Exactly. If he had just talked about riding in the front of the bus, being able to sit down at lunch counters, that was not threatening. In fact, that expanded the economic base when there was integration. But the minute you start talking about redistribution of wealth and stopping a major conflict, which also has economic ramifications, and he understood the injustice and the disparity of African-American men fighting on the front lines in a disproportionate number losing their lives with their white comrades but yet could not even come home and eat at the same lunch counter with their white comrades they just fought with in Vietnam or could not live in the same neighborhood or any number of things, he saw this was a major injustice and what it was doing to the black family, the way it was destroying families, all these young black men being sent away and dying in disproportionate numbers. So to make a stand, the fact that a lot of people, soldiers who were on leave were hearing his message, and there was this fear of, you know, desertion, black soldiers saying I'm not going to fight this unjust war, why am I here, so he was certainly seen as a threat. Unfortunately he was not. It was a real tragedy. As he said, there cannot be any great disappointment where there is no great love, I'm forcing my country to live up to its truth. And the rest is history.

Q. Has the family suffered economically and the King Center, the work of the perpetuation of the legacy of Martin King, have they suffered economically similarly to what occurred to SCLC and your father back in 1967?

A. I would have to say yes. While it is very hard to quantify losses in terms of dollars and cents, I can certainly tell you that I have seen a difference in the way we have been dealt with by corporate supporters, contributors, when, quote, controversy strikes. As you know, most businesses don't like controversy, right, wrong or indifferent, no one wants to be seen as embracing something that is controversial. And yet that is the way -- I remember doing an interview and the reporter asked me, aren't you concerned, it sounds so controversial? I said, no, have you forgotten that the man which we honor -- this was around the King holiday celebration -- was one of the most controversial individuals of his time. In fact, tell me how he went from being public enemy number one in the 1960's to a national hero with a holiday in the 1980's. Explain that to me. Well, the point I'm making is that he can be relegated to I-have-a-dream land because he is not here. Certainly in death he can be martyred and put on a pedestal, but does America really want to deal with what he was fighting for, what he ultimately died for, in terms of solving the triple evils of poverty, racism, violence and war.

Q. Do you think the atmosphere created by the media, which has in effect established an icon figure, do you think that kind of atmosphere contributes to portraying him in terms of his last years of struggle?

A. Yes. I have to believe from everyone I spoke to who knew him intimately from outside the family that those were some of his most depressive years in terms of really facing up to the fact -- as he talked about here in Memphis, I've been to the mountain top, I've seen the promised land -- that he had to know that things had really gotten bad. He was on his way to Washington for the Poor People's Campaign and March, which would bring together all of these forces from different walks of life, that this could no longer be relegated to minority status but Appalacian Whites, Chicano Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, African-Americans, all coming to the steps of the nation's capitol to say we will not leave here until poverty is solved. That has not been addressed today. And because it was not addressed then, his voice had to be silenced. That's why we're here, to get the truth out. My hope is that in this process, in a court of law, we I think still have the last vestige of hope in a democracy to have a jury, to have a forum to get the truth out, because it is sad what I've witnessed with the media, it is just sad in a republic that is supposed to be independent when there is not an independent media on certain issues, particularly when it comes to issues of national security where there is this fear that the people cannot handle it, we cannot allow this out, this truth out. That is so disheartening. But yet a court of law still I believe, the judicial process, is the last hope of allowing the truth to come forward.

Q. In terms of the impact of the media, have you personally experienced among close friends of yours a reaction that has been the result of media coverage of this case over the last few years?

A. Yes. I mean, the past three years in specific, since we've been actively seeking the truth, has been probably the most traumatic period of my life for whatever reason. I've had to really reassess so many things, because I was not aware of the impact that it was having on me personally and my family. But I would have to say in one incident I recall a very close friend who grew up in Tennessee, happens to come from a prominent family in Tennessee -- we went to school together -- and I remember her saying when I first got involved that James Earl Ray is guilty, why are you all involved with this? I kept listening to her. I just heard it go on and on. Finally I stopped her and I said, why do you think that? What are you basing your facts on? She said, well, that's what they said on the TV, that's the basis, the news. I stopped and I said, let me explain something to you. I took her through this whole scenario of how disinformation works and how more importantly mental and psychological warfare and brainwashing works, that if you hear something over and over and over again, right, wrong or indifferent or true or false, it will become habitual and it will automatically program you in a sense. The sad thing is that she stopped and acknowledged it, you are right. I said, now let me show some of the things or explain some of the things that have been explained to me and you make your own choice. The thing I appreciated about your approach to all of this, because it was very awkward, you were representing the accused, if you will, and as you know for many years we were not really comfortable with even addressing this issue, because we didn't know anything, however, when you told me, the thing that impressed me when we first sat down, was you said, listen, you are the family of the victim and you have every right to see every shred of everything, everything, talk to witnesses, anybody that I've had the opportunity in my ten-year trek of work and investigation, and you had an open-book policy. You said, you tell me who you want to talk to, who do you want to see, and you judge for yourself. You didn't put any words in my mouth. You didn't try to lead us down any path. You just said, here, put it on the table, look at it and make your own judgment. But I think there are so many people who were so -- this is not really an issue of logic or intellect, this is an issue of emotion. So many people are emotionally predisposed because of thirty years of programing, including ourselves. We always felt James Earl Ray may have been involved, but we also believed there was probably extensive involvement, but then after seeing the evidence, it was just clear that that was not the case.

Q. This Court and jury have heard extensive testimony yesterday on exactly the issue that you've just been addressing, the power of the media, particularly the visual media. Let's move on. Did there come a time after you got involved with the case and seeking a trial that there was an opportunity for you to meet with the defendant in this case?

A. Yes.

Q. And in fact did you not have two meetings with this defendant?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And was the first meeting not attended by you and me together with defendant's counsel and the defendant?

A. That's correct.

Q. And then you had a second meeting with Ambassador Young and the defendant and his counsel?

A. That's correct.

Q. The Court and jury have heard Ambassador Young's testimony and also a recording of that meeting that I believe you made, was made in your presence. Would you tell the Court and jury what you recall from the two meetings that you had as to the defendant as to admissions against his own interest -- which makes it possible for you to tell them in the courtroom -- what do you recall defendant admitting in those meetings?

A. Well, he admitted first and foremost that he had been contacted by Frank Liberto, who he described the relationship with Frank Liberto as someone who helped him out in the past and was essentially calling in a chip or favor and that Mr. Liberto said that he would send over to his place, over to Jim's Grill, a package, and in that package would be some money. It was in a produce box, the normal delivery that he would receive. Subsequently, after that box was delivered, a gentleman, he was told, would be by to pick it up. Well, that gentleman was described as Raul. That he would come by and pick up the money, and then from there he would be delivering another package, which would be a rifle. Now, that package was delivered I believe the morning of April the 4th. At that time the rifle -- he said he was told to be at the back door at six o'clock. Well, the rifle was going to be picked up prior to that. I may have my details a little sketchy in terms of timing. But the gist of it was that he would meet or did meet a gentleman at the back door to pick up the smoking rifle. He described that gentleman as Earl Clark. The next day --

Q. Just for the record, Earl Clark, a Memphis Police Department officer?

A. Lieutenant, I believe. He said he was clear about that because they were hunting buddies. He knew Earl Clark very well. After I guess the incident, he said he threw the slug down the commode and tried to flush it down the commode, and essentially that clogged up the commode, you know. I remember that very well because he couldn't get it to, you know, to flush basically. And the next morning the rifle was retrieved, and that was pretty much his recollection. Well, actually, no, he also said that there were people who met there, officers he knew, from the Memphis Police as well as what he said were government types, which he assumed to be FBI and other government agents, meeting in his establishment with these officers that he knew, that he did know from the Memphis Police, and he interpreted those meetings as planning meetings. So in effect his place was being used as a staging area.

Q. Did you ask Mr. Jowers questions throughout the course of that meeting?

A. I did. I continuously asked him was he -- you know, was there anybody else or anything else that he was not telling me. And my sense was that -- maybe I shouldn't speculate here. I know I shouldn't speculate. But my sense is that he did not want to -- he felt uncomfortable a little bit and a little bit embarrassed in front of me in saying or admitting that he had involvement in the killing of my father. I could certainly understand that. What I said to him is, you know, my family is not in this for retributive justice. We're a forgiving family. My father was stabbed by a woman who took -- almost took his life before I was even born, and he forgave her. So we're not in this to put people in jail. We want the truth to come out. His fear, obviously, was admitting something against his own -- you know, that would be used against him, and yet I felt like he wanted to get something off his chest. I felt like he wanted to make something right before he left this earth. It was a little bit awkward, but I have to say that I'm glad that, you know, I feel a sense of liberation in knowing more about what happened, what has happened in this tragedy. It has certainly helped to better deal with it.

Q. Did you form the impression that he was being truthful to you?

A. I did. I really felt that. So did Ambassador Young. We talked about it afterwards a few times, actually, and compared notes. I think that in spite of the fact -- keep in mind that this was the second meeting with myself and Ambassador Young. The first meeting was, of course, myself along with you. The story was consistent. So there was not a change between the time you and I met with him and then subsequently when Ambassador Young and myself met.

Q. Did you have the impression from those two meetings that he was knowingly or unknowingly involved in what he was doing at the time of the assassination?

A. I felt like he was knowingly involved but didn't fully want to admit it, or, as Isaid, felt uncomfortable because of the awkwardness of who I was. But it was obvious that he knew what was going on to me.

Q. Now, he mentioned this figure, Raul, having picked up the money at one point in time and delivered a weapon. Did he identify a photo spread -- of a photo spread did he identify a photograph of him for you?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. If we can put this up. (Photographs displayed on an overhead projector.)

Q. We can see the photo spread that has been in evidence here in the Court. I don't know if you can see it. Which of these six individuals did he identify as Raul to you?

A. The second one down on the right in the middle.

Q. Here?

A. Yes.

This picture here?

A. That's the one.

Q. He said this was the man who delivered the money and subsequently -- I'm sorry, picked up --

A. Picked up.

Q. He picked up the money and then delivered the rifle?

A. Correct.

Q. Did he know anything else about this person or say anything else that you recall?

A. Well, he said something about, you know, he thought Mexican or wet-back or something, but he didn't want to -- you know, he didn't know which nationality he was. But he was definitely, you know, of Spanish -- he thought of Spanish descent.

Q. Did you come away with the belief that the fatal shot that killed your father was fired from the bushes, the brush area, behind the defendant's grill?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did he say what he did with the murder weapon, the actual murder weapon, not the throw-down gun, the actual murder weapon?

A. I believe he said he threw it in the -- I'm sorry. That was another piece of that. That someone picked it up, and I believe he said he heard they threw it in the river. But I -- I don't remember who, the details of who picked it up and how it got, you know, supposedly thrown in the river.

Q. Now, Dexter, at one point in time when the family had came out and started asking questions, being involved in this case, were you and the family contacted by a former FBI man?

A. Yes, we were.

Who this was officer?

A. Donald Wilson.

Q. What did Mr. Wilson tell you, discuss with you, again, very contrary to his own professional and personal interests?

A. Well, he told me that he had received some evidence, actually obtained evidence from a crime scene dealing with the whiteMustang which was alleged to have been James Earl Ray's vehicle and said that he had traveled to the crime scene along with a senior agent. He was essentially kind of a new rookie agent, if you will, and the veteran agent had him tag along to the crime scene. And when he opened the door, these pieces of paper fell out, these items that he instinctively just picked up, retrieved and put them in his pocket. And ultimately he had held on to these items for quite some time. He said the thing that made him come forward was he saw my mother and I on CNN, which in this case is good to have the media putting it out there, but he saw us testifying in I guess Judge Brown's courtroom and asking -- making a plea for the truth to come out. And at that time he felt that really moved him to resolve this after so much time.

Q. Where did these articles, these items that he showed you, where did he get them, where did they actually fall from?

A. The inside of the car, the door. When he opened the door, they just hit the ground.

Q. This car, which car was this again?

A. This was the white Mustang that James Earl Ray had ditched in I believe Capital Homes, which is a housing project in Atlanta.

Q. And these pieces of paper were in an envelope or loose and fell out of the car?

A. Correct.

And he picked them up and kept them?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. Why did he hold on to them all these years?

A. Well, he tried to give me some history, which I thought was fairly interesting, because it speaks to his motive, but he talked about when he joined the Bureau fresh out of law school here in Tennessee, I think, where he went to school, and he saw working for the Federal Bureau as being a way to help with civil rights. He really seemed to be committed to making a difference in the cause of justice in this country at that time. And he said the most incredible thing happened to him literally on his first day on the job, or let's say his first day in training, when he was going -- or assigned to go to the academy. He was assigned to a black rookie agent, I guess they were rookie agents when they were going through training, and they were in Virginia, I believe it was, at a rooming facility where they all stayed, and when they went to check in, his black roommate was denied admission. He said he was just so sure that the brass, top brass, were going to really come down on these people, this resident manager, if you will. And he watched the way the situation was handled, and he said, you know, from that day forward, I knew I made the biggest mistake of my life. What he was saying is that the black agent could not room with him, that Director Hoover and all the top brass didn't do anything about rectifying the situation. So -- and he said when it just really hit him is a few years later the agent, the black agent, was killed in the line of duty, and at his funeral I believe in Chicago he was talking about how the director and everyone was there talking about how great this guy was, and all he could remember is when the guy really needed support, they were nowhere to be found. He said once he started learning about the climate and the culture of the Bureau and how this type of thing would happen, he instinctively felt that if he had turned in that evidence, his superiors would have -- it would have ended up missing. And I don't remember, there was another incident, and I can't remember whether this happened before or after the Mustang was discovered, but he and his agent -- I mean he and his partner happened to see a gentleman that fit the description of James Earl Ray somewhere in their travels, and they radioed into headquarters to ask what to do, whether to apprehend or to let him go, whatever, and they were told basically to come back immediately to headquarters and basically sign off. He said again from that incident he knew that he was making the right decision, because he really believed this could have been the man, but they were told to not proceed.

Q. To your personal knowledge, what has happened to Agent Wilson since that time?

A. He has been character assassinated. He has also said that his wife has been somewhat terrorized. Just different types of harassment tactics have been used to silence him, to intimidate him. I witnessed for myself the way this whole thing was handled in the media, and the first knee-jerk response that came out was that this guy was not even an FBI agent. I watched literally the news cycle of how within minutes first he is not an agent, second, well, he wasn't on the crime scene detail -- which is true technically, because the car was impounded and taken to the garage where it was taken a part by special agents to go over it with a fine-tooth comb, which he was not officially a part of that detachment, but he was definitely on the scene -- and ultimately there were quotes from former FBI agents saying, well, whatever he has is fabricated. Now, how can you make an unilateral statement when you haven't even seen what he has? So it amazed me to watch how this man was attacked for coming forward with something. And he really believed -- the saddest thing about this whole episode is when I met this gentleman, I could see the sincerity. He was a man who was to me the epitome of a do-gooder government bureaucrat who really joined the service to do the right thing, who wanted to serve his country, who believed in the constitution. And he was so shocked, I think almost naive, because he kept saying, I want to make sure that the Attorney General Janet Reno gets this information personally. And I remember thinking how, you know, maybe naive that he was, but he believed that if he forged ahead, that the right thing would be done. You know, I really feel sorry for him, to be honest with you, because I don't think he had a clue.

Q. There were a series of articles written by one local reporter who tried to get this story out and they were published and plaintiffs would like to move their admission into evidence at this time. (The above-mentioned documents were marked Collective Exhibit 31.)

Q. (BY MR. PEPPER) I'll put up on the screen now a document or a piece of paper. It is not very clear, but what it is is a telephone directory page. Have you seen that before?

A. Yes, I have.

Do you see this writing up here?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you make that out from that distance?

A. Yes, I can.

What does it say?

A. Raul.

Q. The name Raul? the -- poor copy though it is, and we're only doing with a copy here, but do you recognize this as a copy of one of the pieces of paper that he found in the -- that fell out of the Mustang?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Okay. I'll put up a second photocopy of another document he gave you, another piece of paper. Do you recognize this pieceof paper as one that you were shown by Agent Wilson?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What did you make of this? What did you think this was?

A. Payment, like a payment schedule or list of payments made.

Q. It looked like a schedule of some monies that were to be paid? list of payments or a payment sheet?

A. Yes, correct.

Q. You said he said this also came from the Mustang?

A. Yes, it did.

Q. This list of payments, at the bottom of it, do you see this writing here?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Can you make that name out?

A. I cannot. From here I cannot make it out. It is very --

It is very fuzzy, isn't it?

A. It is very fuzzy.

MR. PEPPER: Let me do this,

Your Honor. Let me make take the copy up and ask the witness to take a look at it closer.

Q. (BY MR. PEPPER) Is that helpful at all?

A. I am still having a hard time. you can't. That's fine.

MR. PEPPER: We will move the admission of both of these collectively as the next exhibit.

THE COURT: Did you identify that as one of the documents that was shown you to by the agent?

THE WITNESS: Yes, I did. (Whereupon, the above-mentioned document was marked as Exhibit 32.)

Q. (BY MR. PEPPER) At the time you met with Agent Wilson, did you also discuss another document that was in the car at the time that fell out and that he retrieved at the time?

A. Well, he talked about other information he had obtained, but he didn't go into detail at the time. I subsequently found out about the other information.

Q. How did you personally come to learn of this other piece of information?

A. I believe it was from a reporter with the Atlanta Journal Constitution and an article that actually he subsequently wrote about it, about the evidence, and the fact that the Justice Department I believe had subpoenaed that separate -- that additional piece of evidence.

Q. What was that additional piece of evidence that the subpoena was issued for?

A. It was a piece of paper or a card, I don't remember the exact instrument, but it was paper or a card with the phone number to the Atlanta office of the FBI.

Q. The phone number of the Atlanta office of the FBI in James Earl Ray's Mustang?

A. That's correct.

Q. Did there come a time, Mr. King, as a result of all of this activity that you decided to meet with James Earl Ray?

A. Yes.

Q. Why did you decide to take that step and meet with the man who had been accused of killing your father?

A. Well, first and foremost I didn't believe that he had actually pulled the trigger at the time. My feeling was even if he had, based on the upbringing that I have, that I've had and my family, that it would have been the right thing to do. Being raised in a Judeo-Christian home or faith to practice what you preach in terms of forgiveness, if he didn't do it, then I felt, which I did feel, I was there on the grounds of this man has also suffered an injustice, but regardless of either scenario, somehow we both, victim/victimizer, both victims, however you look at it, had some type of commonality. So for me spiritually meeting with the accused, if you will, was important for me to personally eye to eye meet this man and ask him did he do it while in my heart I did not believe that he did, but I needed to do that for the record, if you will. I thought about the fact that --again, some people were really outraged. They were upset with me, why did you meet with him? As I said earlier, this has been an emotional issue and not an intellectual or logical issue, issue of logic. People just react to what they've been conditioned to. Again, I've had to draw on my earliest experiences of dealing with an assassin when my grandmother was killed in 1973 -- I'm sorry, in 1974. I was there with my grandfather when he forgave his wife's killer, my grandmother. And yet -- of course, I knew about my father forgiving the woman who stabbed him and almost took his life. So there was a precedent set growing up. In our home we were always taught don't hate white people, don't hate the person who did this. So I didn't see it as being out of character to meet with him.

Q. It was really a part of the family's practice and process, wasn't it? Did you go with your grandfather to visit your grandmother's killer in prison?

A. Well, no. Actually, while she was on the operating table we walked over to where he was being kept, because there was an altercation to apprehend him. He had to have treatment as well. We went over to meet with him. My grandfather asked him why he did it. Essentially he said, I came to get you, and when I get out, I'm going to get you. My grandfather simply said, son, God bless you, and I'm going to pray for you and I'm going to forgive you for your sins. Of course, standing there witnessing this at a very young age helped me to understand what forgiveness was all about, and having that strong spiritual foundation and base is really what has sustained us for all this time.

Q. So it is not just your father's example in life and times but your grandparents as well?

A. Yes, that's correct. When my father was killed, I remember a lot of things that happened, but I wasn't old enough to really understand, you know, the whole forgiveness concept. I do remember it was an ominous period. I remember us really feeling very awkward about him coming back to Memphis that last time. For whatever reason, we felt something was going to happen. I know I felt that. It was very ominous. That was the extent of it. I didn't know why.

Q. Now, did there come a time when you progressed in your consideration of this case and the family's quest for answers and truth that you decided to ask the Justice Department or the President of the United States in the first instance to open an investigation?

A. Yes.

Q. What has happened with respect tothat request and would you describe how it has proceeded?

A. Yes. Well, initially we had ameeting with President Clinton asking him to open an investigation. At that time we were requesting what we saw as a similar model to South Africa's Truth & Reconciliation Commission. We really felt if this truth was going to come out, it had to be done in the context of amnesty or immunity and a healing, a cleansing, that when there are crimes against the people, if you will, by the State, there has to be some type of process so that people can come forward without fear of reprisals. So that was our first request. And that was not granted. What he said he would do is he would speak with the Attorney General, Janet Reno, and ultimately she made the decision that she would do what was called a limited investigation, which would focus on, quote, new evidence. What we tried to explain to her is that we believe that while you can refer to the, quote, new evidence ala Donald Wilson, ala Loyd Jowers, the old evidence, quote, was flawed. In fact, it has not thoroughly been reviewed. So to pigeonhole it into this, quote, new investigation or only focusing on new evidence, is probably not going to serve us because you are only going to be in effect drawing conclusions that don't deal with the a holistic picture. In order to do this, and the last time I checked, there is no statute of limitations on murder, but the reality is that, you know, you have to deal with everything, and yet that request was not granted. So we were very disappointed. But we wanted to at least in the spirit of, you know, reconciliation, give the powers that be the benefit of the doubt to try and come up with something that made sense. We still to this day don't know where that stands. But I can say that I'm not optimistic, because I just -- the signs or the things that typically would point towards optimism have not been evident. This is totally a gut feeling. I noted it is customary to be silent during an investigation until all facts are in, but the thing that has always been ironic to me is that if we're the victims of the family, then everyone from the DA locally to the Justice Department is supposed to represent our interest, at least that's what I thought growing up watching Perry Mason and everything and the like, but in this instance it seems like we have been put on the opposite side of State, and we've, rather than being embraced and our cause being supported and us getting equal justice and fighting for our rights, we've been almost summarily dismissed. So I don't know. I mean, I always try to remain optimistic. I do believe there are things bigger than all of us that can intervene and ultimately in the end, as my father would say, the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. To me I interpreted that as meaning it may not come out in your lifetime, but in time all things are revealed.

Q. But what about those who finally say that this is important for the family and it is important for you from a personal standpoint that the truth be developed and it emerge, but is it necessary for the nation, for this Republic, to go through this siege, this anguish, this torment again?

A. Oh, certainly. Anyone who says just let it go, I mean, let's face it, nothing is going to bring him back, the thing that will certainly resolve and allow for healing, closure and healing, is resolving it so it is not still in this land of uncertainty. Anyone who has had a tragedy -- certainly my family is high profile, but we're no different than any person who has lost a loved one and just simply want to know what happened, whether it is a car accident or anything. I mean, you want to know how your loved one left, if you will. Certainly in this instance where there was so many questions that were not answered and this thing was put to bed so quickly, it is always inevitably going to come back up. So what has been happening is that for whatever reason there are those who have tried to suppress it, don't want to deal with it, because it is a can of worms, but I have to say, like anything that has not been resolved, it will haunt you until it is resolved. And that's not just the victim. It is the victimizer. It is those who represent the victims and the victimizers, because we are all, as my father used to say, inextricably tied together by a garment of destiny. You cannot separate and say, well, that happened then, so we shouldn't deal with it, because to me it is just like it was yesterday. I mean, I remember what I was doing when he was killed. I remember details of everything. And because that has not been resolved, I know for me personally it has affected me in so many ways didn't even realize until recently of thinking I had dealt with and I really had not. So this in a real sense from a personal side but then from a holistic side, in terms of the people, in terms of the masses, yes, it has to be dealt with because it is not about who killed Martin Luther King, Jr., my father, it is not about necessarily all of those details, it is about why was he killed. Because if you answer the why, you will understand the same things are still happening. Until we address that, we're all in trouble, because if it could happen to him, certainly it can happen to -- if it can happen to this family, it can happen to anybody.

Q. In his honor's courtroom here -- this may be a court of last resort, Mr. King.

A. That's correct.

Q. -- why should the nation, this Republic, be concerned about the why, about the why and the how of what happened to Martin Luther King, Jr., aside from the family interest, the nation, this Republic, why is it important to know?

A. Well, it is important to know so it will not be repeated. That's the injustice. It should not be repeated. That if we say we're true to our calling, as he talked about in the "I Have a Dream" speech, about the bad check, he talked about the importance of all Americans coming together, black, white, it didn't matter, but people of goodwill being given an opportunity to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that's what we're all here for, and how can you have that in a so-called democracy if the democracy, if the State, the Republic, do not like what you are saying and you are told from childhood that you have freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of all this, but the fact of the matter is if what you are saying goes against what certain people believe you should be saying, you will be dealt with, maybe not the way you are dealt with in China, which is over, but you will be dealt with covertly and in some way the same result. The result is the same. Personally I would rather someone tell me you have no rights, you can't speak, than to think I have the rights and yet I'm in mental bondage because I'm thinking I'm free all along but there is a long leash that the minute I say something that doesn't fit with the elite or with the special interests, I'm in trouble. That is what Martin Luther King, Jr., represented, someone who spoke for all of us, who spoke for the least of these who were not heard. That's why this is important, because this really opens the issue up of why he was taken from us in the first place.

Q. I'd like you to address two final issues, if you would. There has been evidence in these proceedings that photographs were in fact taken of the assassination by military personnel.

A. Uh-huh.

Q. They were on the roof of a fire station, no less. In all likelihood, those films, those photographs, of the entire event of the assassination of your father exist today in some archive, deeply buried, perhaps, but in some archive of the Pentagon. What would you say to the Department of Defense, to the military intelligence structure of the United States, to the government of the United States that controls perhaps that photographic visual evidence of the truth in this case, what would you ask them to do with that information, those photographs?

A. I think the information should obviously, all of it, should come forth, should be brought out. I understand why it hasn't been. There is fear, obviously, that if the truth were to come out, who would -- what would that say? I mean, really, we are talking about, quote, a political assassination in modern-day times, a domestic political assassination. Of course, it is ironic, but I was watching a special on the CIA, and they say, yes, we've participated in assassinations abroad but, no, we could never do anything like that domestically. Well, I don't know, but what's to say, you know, whether you call it CIA or some other innocuous acronym or agency, killing is killing. The issue becomes what do we do about this? Do we endorse a policy in this country, in this life, that says if we don't agree with someone, the only means to deal with it is through elimination and termination? I think my father taught us the opposite, that you can overcome without violence, that there are ways, because when you use violence, you leave residue that the next generation will come back, and it is a vicious cycle. You never solve the problem. So I would say that all information, evidence, should be -- there should be full disclosure. To be honest, I mean, if the family of the victim -- if you want to look at it in terms of first right, if there is a protocol, if we're saying we can forgive and let people off the hook, then why can't anybody else? I mean, if you can measure suffrage, and technically we say, well, we suffered the greatest loss, if you can measure it that way -- I'm not saying you can -- but if we're saying we're willing to forgive and embark upon a process that allows for reconciliation, why can't others? That's all.

Q. This action -- finally, this action is against Loyd Jowers as a defendant and other unknown conspirators. If evidence emerges at this trial in this civil courtroom that could or should result in the prosecution, the criminal prosecution of other individuals, is the family interested in pursuing criminal prosecution of others known and unknown involved in this assassination?

A. No. We have never been interested in criminal prosecution. As I stated before, this was not about and is not for us about retributive justice. We're not in this to make heads roll. We're in this to use the teachings that my father taught us in terms of nonviolent reconciliation. It works. I mean, we're living together in the South today because of that great movement, black and white together, different types of advances that have occurred as a matter of a peaceful, nonviolent movement. We know that it works. So, therefore, we have to be true to our cause. We have to practice what we preach. So what we're saying is that we're not looking to -- we're not looking to put people in prison. What we're looking to do is get the truth out so that this nation can learn and know officially. I frankly feel I already know the truth. And, I mean, if the world never finds out officially, it is never broadcast across the world, that's a tragedy. But I can move on with my life knowing that I now know what happened. I believe that in my heart. So this proceeding is almost really technically our final legal remedy, and I think -- I know it has been long and drawn out and the jury has had to do such a tedious task at deciphering all of this body of evidence, and I think -- and testimony, and I think that that certainly has to be considered, that there was no other way to do it, this was a last resort, we tried everything, we did everything humanly possible. We've not gained anything. We've lost financially. We've -- I could spend days giving you countless examples of the agony and the defeat. And when people ask that question, are you in it for money, what money? People back away. Everybody I know who has been associated with this has been -- has paid a price. You know, I don't -- it is not a benefit. The only benefit is that the truth has to ultimately come out, because that's what we all believe in. I believe we all stand for justice and want the right thing to happen. So ultimately as a last resort in this proceeding, to say that we're not looking for great remuneration, it is the total opposite, we're looking for nominal damages, but we're looking for the truth. And you can't put a price on the truth. So that hopefully answers your question.

Q. It goes a long way to it, but in terms of Mr. Jowers, and the final issue is an issue of damages, Mr. King, because this is a civil action, a wrongful death action against the defendant, and damages inevitably raises its head, and whilst you have said we're only interested in nominal damages, that needs in a plea to the jury to be spelled out with a degree of more specificity. What would be in your mind an appropriate sort or type, quantity, number of damages and for what purpose would those damages be used if you were to ask this jury to award damages with a number figure, what would make sense to you and the family at this point in time?

A. Well, the number I'm a little bit fuzzy on because, you know, numbers are so subjective. But let's just say for the sake of this proceeding, let's say we were granted a hundred dollar --

Q. Suppose the request were to be framed in terms of a hundred dollars which would go toward the funeral expenses of your father. What would you do -- if that were the case and you were given that award, what do you think you might appropriately do with that money?

A. I think it would only be fitting that any sum of money, no matter how small or large, go to benefit some cause that he would have wanted or been associated with. Because this is Memphis, because of what it represents, he was here supporting the sanitation workers for their plight, and I would certainly support and want to see some benefit, whether it be their welfare, the Sanitation Workers Union Welfare Fund or something along those lines that the family could contribute that sum to and even, you know, contribute more out of our pockets. I just think that we need to bring closure to this. It something as minimal as the fact that even to this day I have awkward feelings when I come here. I'm still -- it is not any reflection of the people, because the people are wonderful. Everybody rolls out the red carpet, bends over backwards to be hospitable. But until this injustice is settled, then all we can really do is try to deal with what he would have done, and he was here to support a campaign that dealt with man's inhumanity to man, and now that we're rounding out and coming to the end of this journey, my hope is that this will be not an ending but a beginning, a launching pad, so that an example can be set here in this courthouse in this city and in this state to show people, to send a message that it does not always have to be the way that people think or what they assume, that impressions and opinions, no matter what anybody writes in a column or an editorial, that hopefully people's hearts have been moved and their heads have been dealt with and there will be a verdict that is one of fairness and justice.

MR. PEPPER: Mr. King. Thank you very much.

THE COURT: Let's take a break before cross-examination.

(Jury out.) (Short recess.)

THE COURT: Mr. Garrison, do you want to cross-examine the witness?

MR. GARRISON: Do you want to bring the jury?

THE COURT: Yes. That might be a good idea.

(Jury in.)

THE COURT: All right. They wanted to start without you all, but I told them we can't do that. You may proceed.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. GARRISON:

Q. Good afternoon, Mr. King. How you are today?

A. Fine. How about yourself?

Q. Fine. Thank you. Mr. King, you and I have talked about this matter quite a few times, haven't we?

A. Yes, we.

Q. As a matter of fact, I've been to Atlanta and I've talked to your family and you about this, haven't we?

A. Yes, we have.

Q. When Mr. Jowers met with you in Jackson, Tennessee, and again Little Rock, Arkansas, with you and Ambassador Young, he freely and voluntarily told you what he knew about this case. He answered your questions the best he could. Am I correct, sir?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. Mr. King, when you met the first time with Mr. Jowers, he apologized to you for any part he may have played in this, didn't he?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. And he also told you that he did not know at the time that the main target was Dr. King, he told you that, didn't he?

A. He did say that.

Q. That he had no idea that Dr. King would be assassinated or knew anything that was going on?

A. That's true. He did say that.

Q. I believe he also told you that he was -- he had an agreement or had been asked by Mr. Liberto to handle some money and he had handled money before on other occasions before this. Do you recall that?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Let me ask you, Mr. King, you had talked to Mr. Jowers and Ambassador Young, too, about immunity for him, did you not, sir?

A. Yes, we did.

Q. In fact, Reverend Lowery, what was his position?

A. He was President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Q. And he came here and spent the better part of a day and met with Mr. Gibbons in an effort to try to obtain immunity for Mr. Jowers. You are aware of that, aren't you?

A. Yes, I am.

And Mr. Gibbons refused?

A. That's correct.

Q. Can you tell us this: Did you ever have any meeting with either Mr. Campbell or Mr. Gibbons from the District Attorney's Office?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Okay. Did they ever explain to you as to why they were so against having this rifle tested?

A. Yes. They basically said, and I don't recall the exact outcome of the conversation, but essentially they felt it would be a waste of time, that the rifle had been tested previously and it was inconclusive. So why is it going to change now?

Q. Dr. Pepper asked you a moment ago about there had been some discussion or some -- something in the news media about the fact that you and your family had been manipulated. You investigated this quite a bit before you started this action, did you not, sir?

A. Yes. I guess the total of information that has come forth has just been overwhelming.

Q. And let me ask you this, Mr. King:

Based upon all the information that has come to you within recent years and the witnesses that have come forth, isn't it true that you have made the statement that you thought that from the President, who was Lyndon B. Johnson, on down were part of this or knew that this was going to happen?

A. Well, no, actually that statement was taken out of context. I was asked by a journalist or interviewer, Forrest Sawyer, to be exact, from ABC -- I guess it was Turning Point was the program -- whether I felt President Johnson was involved or knew about it, and I simply made the comment, which, of course, got edited out, prefacing by saying if what Bill Pepper says is true or has written in his book is true, then I would find it very difficult for something of this magnitude to occur without the Commander in Chief, in other words, if the military were involved just based on my knowledge of protocol and structure, the way the military operates, then the Commander in Chief would have to give certain orders in order to mobilize certain forces.

Q. All right, sir.

A. But, of course, the way it was edited, it said that I said, yes, President Johnson was involved and knew about it. I however, did also say that the FBI -- it was a known fact that Director Hoover had a major beef, if you will, and certainly a hatred towards my father and had stated publicly and it is in fact public record that they actually harassed him, surveilled him and did other things to try and discredit him. That is public record.

Q. Dr. Pepper asked you about Mr. Wilson. Are you familiar with what has happened to the notes that Mr. Wilson had?

A. Yes.

Q. What has happened to those notes?

A. The Justice Department has confiscated them to try and authenticate them. To my knowledge, I assume they are still in the custody of the Justice Department.

Q. As far as you know, there has been nothing -- no test or anything that would tend to say that these were fabricated or a forgery. Am I correct, sir?

A. That's correct. I was actually told by a reporter who had been in touch with the Justice Department that they could not rule them out, and they are trying to figure out how to, for want of a better word, how to classify them in order I guess to make them either -- what I'm told inconclusive is sometimes a way of saying not conclusive, and, you know, it is like "inconclusive" leaves you still in the balance, but I believe if you can't rule it out, certainly you can't say that it is a phony.

Q. Were you aware of the investigation by the local District Attorney that started back in 1993 and that they concluded in 1998, were you aware of all of that?

That they started -- I'm sorry?

Q. I believe in 1993.

That who? Could you repeat who?

Q. The local District Attorney started an investigation into some new allegations and things. Are you aware of that?

A. I've been generally aware, not specifically, in terms of the details of that.

Q. Let me hand you a report, Mr. King, and ask you if you have seen this before, which was provided to the District Attorney's Office?

Yes. This is the more recent report. When you said 1993 --

Q. I think it says it started in 1993. I think the report itself says that. A copy was delivered to your family I believe in Atlanta the last year in March.

Yes, I have seen a copy.

Q. That was provided to you.

MR. GARRISON: Your Honor, I'd like to have that marked as an exhibit to his testimony. (The above-mentioned document was marked Exhibit 33.)

(BY MR. GARRISON) You've seen the report and read it, haven't you, Mr. King?

Yes, I have. It has been quite some time, a couple of years, since I have.

Q. Let me ask you, did you learn that the government had sealed the records of the investigation of your father's assassination?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever question any one as to why those records were sealed?

A. Yes.

Q. What answers did you get?

A. Well, I was told that there was information that might be incriminating, that could possibly incriminate government involvement or corroborate government involvement, and I was also told that there may have been information fabricated, that there was definitely information that the FBI fabricated to try and discredit my father, and that that information could possibly also be included in that -- in the sealed records as well.

Q. Mr. King, based upon what information you have obtained over the last few years and information that has come to you, Mr. Jowers really played a very small part in this, didn't he?

A. Well, it depends on what you call "small part." I mean, certainly I would see him as a specific conduit, if you will. Whether he was the person -- if you are asking me whether he was the person who orchestrated and planned and put all the, quote, conspiracy together, I would have to say, no, I do not believe he was, quote, the brains behind this conspiracy.

Q. According to his discussion with you, he was simply doing things he had done previously for this person that he named as Frank Liberto?

A. That's correct.

Q. And he was doing the normal things he thought were normal in carrying out the instructions of Frank Liberto. Am I correct, sir?

A. Yes, you are.

That's pretty much what he said?

A. That's correct.

MR. GARRISON: I believe that's all. Thank you, Mr. King.

REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. PEPPER:

Q. Mr. King, you made your position, the family's position, clear with respect to the feelings about Mr. Jowers and how you would regard him at this point and what you feel should take place. Mr. Jowers' counsel just asked you if Mr. Jowers advised you in the meetings that he did not know about the details or about the assassination and about who the person was that to be assassinated. And you answered yes, he did state this. Let me ask you once again, finally,

did you believe then, do you believe now, that Mr. Jowers was telling you the truth with respect to that point, that he did not know who was being assassinated?

A. No, I do not believe he was telling me the truth at that time. I believe that --he definitely said that he did not know, but I don't believe that part. I think he was telling the truth up until that point. I just sensed -- and Ambassador Young and I talked about that fact -- that he seemed very uncomfortable admitting that much knowledge to, you know, to me basically.

Q. Going that far?

A. Exactly, being the victim's family. And I could understand why.

MR. PEPPER: Thank you, Mr. King. Nothing further.

RECROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. GARRISON:

Q. Mr. King, let me ask you this: He met with you voluntarily at his own expense and fully cooperated with you, didn't he?

A. Yes, he did. As you know, it was -- there was hesitation initially until we finally were able to work everything out. The fear of prosecution was always an issue. I believe that -- I just felt that he was getting this off his chest.

Q. All right. But the first thing he did was apologize to you for anything that he may have done that would have caused the death of your father, didn't he?

A. He did.

MR. GARRISON: Thank you, sir.

THE COURT: All right. You may stand down, sir. Thank you. (Witness excused.)

 


 

from the post-verdict press conference

www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/MLKACT/PressConference.html

There is a very distinct process or protocol that happens when there is an issue of national security. First, there is an attempt to discredit one's credibility. Second, there is harassment. And finally, if that does not work, termination or elimination. That is what happened to our loved one, because he challenged the establishment.

He spoke out against the war in Vietnam. He talked about dealing with poverty, by taking poor people to Washington. There was also an interest in the political process. He became too powerful. Let us not forget, as my mother said, that it was the failure of the system to do the right thing by its citizens, who first and foremost caused and created a Martin Luther King Jr. and others to get out on the front line and be beaten, brutalized and even killed.

-- Dexter King, speaking about his family's successful lawsuit in 1999



JFKMoon.org - by Mark Robinowitz - updated April 17, 2018