Home Local D.C. Community Originally published May 23, 2012

ATF Recognizes a Fallen Hero

by Editorial

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    Presentation of Colors: by the U.S. Secret Service, Uniformed Division Honor Guard. ()

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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) paid tribute to the First African American post-Reconstruction era federal law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty almost 130 years after his death. The name of William Henderson Foote, a deputy tax collector with the Department of Treasury, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), was unveiled on the Memorial Wall at the ATF’s Headquarters in Northeast, Washington, DC. ATF’S Acting Director B. Todd Jones hosted the Memorial Ceremony with special guest keynote speaker, Dr. Sharon Malone provided historical remarks. She is the wife of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Foote was killed Dec. 29, 1883 in Yazoo City, Miss. while jailed and awaiting trial in conjunction with a racially charged incident in which he interviewed as a federal law enforcement officer with the BIR. Members of the Foote family attended the very moving ceremony including Dr. Bettye Gardner, great niece of Foote, who is a well-respected historian. She helped ATF Historian Barbara Osteika research and discover this buried injustice. The ATF auditorium was filled to capacity with ATF staff to witness this unforgettable recognition to a Fallen Hero. For more information, visit their website: