20 January 2014

My Encounter With An Icon, James A. Hood

Mr. Hood was a Civilian Deputy Chief who briefly occupied an office adjacent to mine on the second floor of the Detroit Police Department Headquarters building.  If I remember correctly, he given that office space to work on his own projects and wasn't part of our chain of command.

Like his fellow Detroit resident, Rosa Parks, Mr. Hood's claim to fame occurred during a famous civil rights incident in Alabama.  Details were found at the blog, The '60s at 50, Tuesday, June 11, 1963: The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door.  C-Span also commemorated that day.

From this blog:

It was on June 11,1963, that Mr. Hood and Malone, accompanied by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and federal marshals, attempted to register for classes at Foster Auditorium. Flanked by state troopers and in the face of national media, Wallace stood at the doorway of the auditorium to block the students' entry.

President John F. Kennedy then federalized the Alabama National Guard and instructed guardsmen to remove Wallace.

That afternoon, Brigadier General Henry V. Graham told Wallace that it was his ''sad duty'' to tell the governor to step aside. Wallace made a final statement and complied, and Mr. Hood and Malone were allowed to enroll. 

His New York Times obituary (20 January 2013) mentioned his time in Detroit:

He obtained a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in Detroit and a master’s degree from Michigan State, concentrating in criminal justice and sociology. He was a deputy police chief in Detroit and the chairman of the police science program at the Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin.

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