Bill Text: CA SJR7 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: FBI surveillance tapes.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 9-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2022-01-13 - From committee: Be adopted. Ordered to third reading. (Ayes 8. Noes 0.) (January 13). [SJR7 Detail]

Download: California-2021-SJR7-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Senate  July 15, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Joint Resolution
No. 7


Introduced by Senator Bradford
(Coauthor: Senator Kamlager)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bryan, Burke, Cooper, Gipson, Holden, Jones-Sawyer, and McCarty)

June 30, 2021


Relative to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the FBI surveillance tapes.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SJR 7, as amended, Bradford. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: FBI surveilance surveillance tapes.
This measure would urge the National Archives and Records Administration to destroy the FBI surveillance tapes that were obtained immorally on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and would urge the Congress of the United States to work with President Joseph R. Biden to prevent similar abuses of power from being perpetrated for immoral and defamatory reasons.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. walked into the heart of Jim Crow demanding change from those intransigent in their hatred. His courage was unquestioned, his method of nonviolence risky, and his unapologetic style dangerous. At 34 years of age, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received international recognition with the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize; and
WHEREAS, The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) immorally recorded the life and conversations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and
WHEREAS, The FBI began monitoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in December 1955 during his involvement with the Montgomery bus boycott, and engaged in covert operations against him throughout the 1960s; and
WHEREAS, For the last four and one-half years of his life, from November 1963 until his death in April 1968, Dr. King lived without any semblance of privacy. His hotel rooms were bugged, his phones tapped, and his office and inner circle infiltrated by informants; and
WHEREAS, On November 21, 1964, the FBI anonymously sent Dr. King a letter encouraging Dr. King to commit suicide to avoid public embarrassment; and
WHEREAS, According to a United States Senate Committee convened in the 1970s to investigate the FBI’s domestic intelligence operations, when Dr. King condemned the Vietnam War in a speech at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, the FBI interpreted this position as proof he “has been influenced by Communist advisors” and stepped up their covert operations against him; and
WHEREAS, In August 1967, the FBI created a Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) which targeted Dr. King, the Black Panther Party, and other civil rights leaders; and
WHEREAS, The FBI’s surveillance tapes and the transcripts of them remain under seal until 2027; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is critical to memorializing the Black experience in America. His mission, and unfortunately, the challenges he confronted, remain timeless, and no one has the right to feed on his legacy; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature urges the National Archives and Records Administration to destroy the FBI surveillance tapes that were obtained immorally on Reverand Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature urges the Congress of the United States to work with President Joseph R. Biden to prevent similar abuses of power from being perpetrated for immoral and defamatory reasons; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President and the Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the Majority Leader of the Senate, to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, and to the Archivist of the United States.
feedback