2 off-duty NYPD officers stop woman allegedly throwing gas on MLK Jr.’s birth home in Atlanta

Two men who identified themselves as off-duty NYPD officers detained a woman allegedly attempting to throw gasoline on Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home in Atlanta.

Police say the 26-year-old woman, dressed in all black, was pouring gasoline on the home’s front porch, windows, and bushes around 5:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon in the historic Auburn Avenue Historic District.

That is when two tourists from Utah spotted her and intervened, asking the woman what she was doing.

Two more men then held her until Atlanta police arrived. They told responding officers they were off-duty NYPD visiting the historical landmark.

Laneisha Shantrice Henderson is charged with second-degree attempted arson and interference with government property. The historic site is now a museum operated by the National Park Service.

“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,” The King Center said in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter. “Fortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful, thanks to the brave intervention of good samaritans and the quick response of law enforcement.”

The statement from the nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to preserving the legacy of King and his wife Coretta Scott King, also said, “Our prayers are with the individual who allegedly committed this criminal act.”

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