Naomi King
A.D. King Foundation

Atlanta police are searching for a man who tried to carjack Naomi King, the sister-in-law of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., on Friday when she stopped her car to enter her gated retirement community, WSB-TV reports.

Authorities say the assailant approached her vehicle from a nearby wooded area while King was entering the security code to open the gate.

She refused to get out of the car, so he punched her in the face. One of King’s friends told WSB-TV that the man then looked around in the car for her purse but couldn’t find it. By that time, the resilient 83-year-old widow of Martin Luther King’s younger brother was screaming for help. He then fled with a co-conspirator.

Naomi King, a civil rights leader in her own right, said that she forgives her assailant. In a written statement, she said that her late husband, the Rev. A.D. King, would have called for justice—not revenge for the attack.

“Yes, there must be justice for this tragic attack. Yet we must seek solutions and opportunities for our youth so that others don’t choose this hopeless path that my attacker sought,” Naomi King said. “This is the mission of the A.D. King Foundation founded in my husband’s honor.”

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Read more at WSB-TV.