Naming Center After J. Edgar Hoover: Historical Reality Or “Disgrace”?


U. S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Congressional Black Caucus chairman, says a plan to name a National Law Enforcement Museum research center for J. Edgar Hoover is inappropriate if it does not recognize the former FBI director’s history of racial intolerance, reports USA Today. Cleaver cited the FBI’s effort under Hoover to discredit civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

Craig Floyd of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said more than 4,000 items from Hoover’s estate have been acquired, including his office desk, chair, telephone, correspondence, books, and speech recordings. The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), a major donor to the museum, is not opposed to recognizing Hoover. “Good, bad or indifferent, that’s the history of law enforcement,” NOBLE Executive Director Jessie Lee said. Curt Gentry, who wrote a critical biography of Hoover, said naming the research center for him would be a “disgrace.”

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