Central Intelligence Agency

Federal agents blamed Martin Luther King's nonviolent movement for violence in Baltimore, other cities

Federal agents blamed Martin Luther King's nonviolent movement for violence in Baltimore, other cities

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered each year in January for giving his life while leading the charge to attain full civil rights for black Americans.

But it’s also important to remember how King was perceived by the very power structure he hoped to reform — as a national security threat instigating racial violence in cities across the nation, including Baltimore.

In a May 26, 1967, letter to CIA director Richard Helms, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover enclosed a document entitled “Racial Violence Potential in the United States This Summer.” The document and Hoover’s...

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