Man Found Sleeping In Lorraine Motel After Breaking Into National Civil Rights Museum

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(Memphis)  Memphis Police are investigating an overnight break-in at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Police say a man threw a rock through one of the museum's second floor windows late Tuesday.

When officers arrived, they found the man asleep on a bed inside Room 308 of the old Lorraine Motel.

The room is just a few doors down from Room 306 the room outside of which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

At this time, investigators say it appears nothing was taken from the museum but windows were broken in rooms 307 and 308.

Dexter Anderson is charged with vandalism over $500 and Criminal Trespass.

Memphis Police told us Anderson stole the wreath that marks where Dr. King was assassinated, off the balcony of the Lorraine motel.

“Why would you want to do that?” exclaimed museum visitor Kaitlyn Soell.

Police say Anderson then broke into rooms rooms 307 and 308.

“It’s just so disrespectful that someone could do that to Dr. King and his legacy,” said museum visitor Ramona Wilson.

It's teacher Ramona Wilson's third time bringing her Texas students to the National Civil Rights Museum.

Last year the museum was getting renovated, so she couldn’t take a peek into the room where Dr. King stayed in 1968.

“This year we were really banking on seeing Dr. King’s room up close and personal,” said Wilson.

But the third time isn’t always the charm, the group couldn’t look into the room because repairmen spent much of the morning replacing the shattered glass.

The break-in almost forced visitors to miss out on another museum experience.

Police couldn’t find the stolen wreath for nearly seven hours.

They believe Anderson stashed it about a half mile away at G.E. Patterson and Fourth.

“It’s not an artifact but it's a part of our setting and it is important to us,” said Museum administrator, Tracy Lauritzen Wright.

Luckily, detectives returned the missing wreath in time for visitors like 17-year-old Kaitlyn Soell,
“My favorite part was learning how King made the biggest change."

Anderson faced several theft and burglary charges in Shelby County before, dating back to 2002.


  • Will Crump

    It’s easy to sit back and crack jokes at the expense of a homeless person,but how would you feel if that homeless person was you?

    We have become so judgmental and holier than thou toward people at a lower station in life than our own. What happened to compassion? How would you want to be treated if you ended up homeless? Would you want help and understanding or would you want people to look at you and assume you’re a worthless junkie or a bum too sorry and lazy to work? All it takes for one to end up on the street is a catastrophic expense to blind-side you like a prolonged illness that costs you your job. It can happen more easily than you want to admit.

    The U.S.A. is truly one of the richest nations on earth. If our sorry government would keep our money at home and quit sending it hand over fist to countries that hate our guts to begin with and put it to work for OUR citizens, there would be enough money to pretty much end homelessness and hunger in the U.S.A.

    These people should be given habitat for humanity home. So long as they keep it clean and neat they should be able to live in it indefinitely. If they trash it, put them on community corrections and make them take part in the labor it will take to make the repairs. If they don’t want to do that, then put them in jail. If they’re given a home and they trash it, then they’re on their own. They had a chance and blew it.

    If such a resident is mentally ill, that should be noted and care should be provided. We as a nation did a grave disservice to the mentally ill when states across the nation slashed budgets and closed state psychiatric hospitals. In this nation’s indifference to these unfortunate people, we’ve decided it’s cheaper to put them in jail or state prison and criminalize them than treat them with meaningful help in a clean, safe, therapeutic environment.

    I’ll tell you another thing that would help homelessness and that’s for the powers that be to add convicted felons to the list of protected classes so that employers cannot refuse to hire a person based solely on a felony conviction. So long as the ex-offender is not applying for a job that bears a DIRECT RELATION TO THEIR CRIME(S) they should have just as much right to work and earn a decent living as anyone else. The only different between a convicted felon and some (maybe many) of the rest of society is that they got caught.

    • SayNoMore

      @Will Crump…..I couldn’t agree with you more. Maybe this Museum break in will help us all focus better.

  • canadianwhiskeygirl

    Boy somebody pi$$ed him off!! Hope he feels better after venting. Actually what he said is true. However, Will Crump, there ARE work release jobs several places in/around Memphis and no, none of them allow working a job that put them in jail to begin with(for lavk of a better way to word it at this moment.)

  • Mchelle

    Yea he probably just wanted a bed to lay his head on…he’s trying to sleep not do any bodily harm…that glass can be replaced! But ya know..that’s not how most are going to see it.

  • Mchelle

    Another thing…Memphis will see better days…one reason I am in college is to give back to the city that contributed to the person I am today! You really have to get out of Memphis to miss it! I have plans and some involve impacting the lives of the homeless.

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