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New footage shows arrest of Martin Luther King's assassin

VISIONARY: Dr Martin Luther King

UNSEEN FOOTAGE of the man who assassinated Dr Martin Luther King Jr has been seen for the first time, 45 years after the civil rights leader was killed.

The black and white clip shows James Earl Ray on an airplane in Tennessee after being extradited from London in 1968. He had fled the U.S. following the fatal shooting of Dr King on April 4 - three months earlier - at a Memphis motel.

It was released by Shelby County Register's office after being cleaned up using digital technology.

SAD SCENES: A still taken from the grainy footage shows James Earl Ray removing his shirt as he is examined by a prison doctor

Shelby County Register told NBC, who helped restore the footage, in a statement: "It is believed that the personnel using the equipment were learning how to operate this technology as they recorded.

"As a result, the footage is not always as clear as we are accustomed to seeing today."

Ray was also filmed being moved to a prison cell and later removing his shirt as he is examined by a prison doctor.

Dr King's death sparked nationwide protests, a two-month manhunt and an outpouring of grief for the slain civil rights leader who continues to stand for equal rights, peaceful protests and justice for all.

JAILED: James Earl Ray was sentenced to 99 years for the death of Martin Luther King

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