Why Was Martin Luther King, Jr. Arrested ?


Quick Answer

Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested on Oct. 19, 1960, after refusing to leave the lunch counter of a department store in Atlanta. He and 75 of his followers had been denied lunch at the counter because of the local policies on segregation.

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Full Answer

The charges were eventually dropped because the mayor of Atlanta did not want the city getting a poor reputation. Following his release from prison, Dr. King was imprisoned again because his probation for a traffic conviction had been violated. This time, presidential candidate John F. Kennedy personally intervened, citing the poor treatment of Dr. King in what was a routine traffic ticket. King was released soon thereafter due to political pressure.

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