The Robert E. Lee Memorial police headquarters, named for a former Kent police chief, was dedicated on Sept. 18, 1992. It stands proudly in the center of downtown Kent and is easily visible by foot and vehicle traffic.
I admit to having no knowledge of the namesake for the building, but I presume his service to community was deserving of public recognition. I am guessing he did not name himself and can only imagine why his parents chose the moniker they did.
That said, the very name of Robert E. Lee is inflammatory in its own right, regardless of whether one would be knowledgeable enough to discern that this building’s Robert E. Lee is not the renowned and insurrectionist and white supremist, Gen. Robert E. Lee. Less we forget, Gen. Lee led the fight to destroy the United States.
While many cities are taking measures to remove statues and memorials representing the confederacy, their leaders and their hateful cause, perhaps it is time for the Kent City Council to consider a similar gesture by having the KPD building renamed.
– David McDougall