Charlotte City Council member LaWana Mayfield posted a tweet on MLK Day blaming members of the “#BlackCommunity” for the civil rights leader’s death.
“As we Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy remember it was members of our #BlackCommunity that Killed HIM, not pretty yet true,” Mayfield tweeted. “With this in mind I don’t want to see other #BlackPeople attemp to Kill #BlackLedOrganizations This organization has been around for Decades.”
King, at age 39, was cut down by an assassin’s bullet on April 4, 1968, while standing on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray, a white man, was tried, convicted and died in prison for the killing.
Various conspiracy theories have circulated relating to King’s death, but no credible theory has implicated a Black conspiracy to assassinate King.
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On Tuesday, QCity Metro reached out to Mayfield for comment. In an email, she said her schedule did not allow time to talk. She did state, however, that she had posted a second tweet expounding on her first.
In three additional tweets, all posted after QCity Metro had reached out to her, Mayfield acknowledged that Ray had been “arrested” for King’s murder, but she said the “#BlackCommunity attempted [to] kill his spirit.”
“The limitations of this space, to continue this post, I want us to recognize that We Need Truth to Heal in our community vs waiting for others to heal us. This #blackwoman carried around for 6 years this desire to do harm.(see attached) :https://history.com/news/martin-luther-king-1958-assassination-attempt.”
“Yes We All Know it was #JamesEarlRay who was arrested for his murder. I am thinking about how #BlackCommunity attempted kill his spirit (Northerners/Southerners), for fighting for the poor/underpaid & like #FredHampton those who broke bread with him while planning his demise.”
“Once deemed “The Most Dangerous Nego” by institutions today that re-print parts of his speeches & claim association to his works. It was his willingness to “NOT quietly accept or allow what had been” that creates hope & All people were not ready for that “Promise” to be filled.”
Mayfield, who returned to City Council after winning an at-large seat last fall, has a history of posting controversial statements on social media.
In response to the Facebook post, more than 2,400 people signed an online petition calling on Mayfield to resign her seat on City Council.
The following year, in 2019, Gov. Roy Cooper rescinded Mayfield’s appointment to the North Carolina Human Relations Commission after 29 state Senate Republicans wrote a letter to the governor citing her police tweet.
Mayfield’s election to an at-large seat marks her second stint on City Council. She was elected four times to represent District 3, from 2011-2018. In 2019, she failed in her first bid to win an at-large election, but in 2022 she ran again for one of the council’s four at-large positions, finishing third in voting behind Dimple Ajmera and Braxton David Winston II and slightly ahead of James “Smuggie” Mitchell.
From the QCity Metro archives: