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DA probing truck with anti-Martin Luther King Jr. imagery

The Associated Press

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A truck sporting images and messages against Martin Luther King Jr. has drawn the attention of a western Pennsylvania prosecutor.

FILE - In this May 17, 1967 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King speaks at the University of California administration building in Berkeley, Calif. Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. asked Americans, "Where do we go from here?" His warning of chaos or community squarely confronted racism, and marked a shift from his emphasis on nonviolence to a demand for full economic and political equality. Younger generations of black activists say they prefer the pointed, more forceful King to the Nobel Peace Prize-winning pacifist who preached love over hate.   (AP Photo, File)

But the American Civil Liberties Union says the truck — featuring a sign extolling King’s assassin, James Earl Ray — along with a Confederate flag and other items is protected speech. Obnoxious and wrong, but protected nonetheless.

Johnstown police and the Cambria County district attorney’s office say they’re investigating whether charges of ethnic intimidation might be filed against the truck’s owner, who hasn’t been publicly identified. Pictures of the truck surfaced on Facebook after it was seen around Johnstown on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. day.

A sign on the truck’s tailgate says, “In Loving Memory of James Earl Ray.” A black mannequin was also hanging from the truck.