Restored Tapes Show MLK’s Assassin After Arrest

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Newly restored black and white images of James Earl Ray, and the court proceedings and media coverage that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis have been released.

The tapes were found at the Shelby County Register of Deeds office. In the tapes, you’ll see and hear former Shelby County Sheriff Bill Morris reading Ray his rights on the airplane after his arrival.

“I’d like to read this statement from the state of Tennessee… James Earl Ray, alias John William Harvey,… You have the right to remain silent and anything you say and do can be used against you in a court of law.”

The tapes also reveals a sense of urgency and security concerns as Ray wears a bulletproof vest and struggles as he’s escorted inside the county jail building.

In 1968, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office purchased video camera equipment for the purpose of documenting the extradition, incarceration and prosecution of Ray.

King was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39.