Martin Luther King Jr. and violence have always gone together like fist and glove. He always planned his “non-violent” protests where he could provoke the most violent response. If law enforcement didn’t initially react violently, well, King’s people would use some of their own, like spitting on policemen, which they knew their allies in the press would cover up. And if nothing worked, and the police just ignored him, he considered the whole matter a waste of time and other people’s resources.
Since James Earl Ray assassinated King on April 3, 1968, streets, schools, and other buildings have been named after him by the thousand. As is virtually universally known, if you want to find the most violent area in a given city, just head out to any street named “MLK.”
And heading to a street named after MLK, on MLK Day…
By Michael Muskal
January 21, 2013, 3:16 p.m. CST
Gunfire erupted from a vehicle, wounding five people, about 30 minutes after a parade honoring Martin Luther King Jr. passed a New Orleans intersection, police said.
The parade was one of numerous events nationwide honoring the slain civil rights leader, perhaps the most famous modern advocate of peaceful civil disobedience, on the federal holiday created for him.
“It's the state of affairs in our nation that young men do not heed the words of Martin Luther King Jr.,” New Orleans Police Supt. Ronal Serpas, one of the responding officers, told the website nola.com.
Serpas told WDSU television that a group of six teenage boys or young men was gathered outside a small grocery store near LaSalle Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the Central City neighborhood when a late-model white sedan, possibly a Nissan or Pontiac, drove past.
The shots were fired from the vehicle about 1 p.m., about half an hour after the annual parade honoring King went by. The shooting did not appear to be related to the parade, officials said.
The car sped off in the direction of the Mississippi River, Serpas told reporters at the scene.
None of the injuries appeared to life-threatening, police said.
Chief Serpas on shooting on MLK Blvd. on MLK DayNew Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas talks about shooting that left 5 injured.
NOPD: 5 people shot in Central City where Martin Luther King Day parade had passed earlier By NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune January 21, 2013 at 1:26 p.m., updated January 21, 2013 at 5:18 p.m.
The New Orleans Police Department said that five people were shot in Central City on Monday afternoon. Police said that the shooting occurred shortly after 1 p.m. on the corner of LaSalle Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
NOPD investigate an apparent drive by shooting left five teens with bullet wounds in front of the Central City Grocery at the corner of Lasalle and Martin Luther King Blvd. Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.
The shooting occurred near where the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade had passed some 30 minutes earlier. The shooting did not appear to be related to the parade, authorities said.
[N.S.: That was to clarify, in case anyone assumed that parade organizers had produced the shooting as part of the festivities.]
New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said that the shots were fired out of a white, two-door sedan that drove by a grocery store located near the intersection of both streets. Rapid shots were fired at a group of teenagers who were standing outside.
Five people were shot, Serpas said. All of the victims were male, Serpas said, and they were taken to an area hospital to be treated for their injuries, none of which appeared to be life-threatening.
The car was seen fleeing down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard toward the river and disappeared into the surrounding neighborhood, Serpas said, adding that video surveillance would soon be made available to the public.
Authorities said the shooting did not appear to be related to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, which passed by about 30 minutes prior as residents participated in the 27th annual march to King's statue on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
"It's the state of affairs in our nation that young men do not heed the words of Martin Luther King Jr.," Serpas said.
[Thanks for these stories to reader-researcher RC, who writes, “I knew this was coming.”]