Agency honors 1st black federal officer killed in line of duty

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More than a century ago William Henderson Foote served as lawman of the highest order in his town of Yazoo City, Mississippi. He was a town constable, town marshal and the circuit clerk. On December 28, 1883 Foote was killed by a lynch mob that stormed the prison he was in for being involved in a scuffle three days earlier where three white men were killed. CNN has the story:

William Henderson Foote was a lawman of the highest order in his small town of Yazoo City, Mississippi, when he died in the line of duty more than a century ago.

He’d once been the town’s constable, town marshal and circuit clerk while serving in the Mississippi legislature.

And on Monday, Foote was remembered and recognized as the first African-American federal office killed in the line of duty.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) posthumously awarded its Gold Star Medal to Foote, who served as a post-Reconstruction-era deputy collector with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Internal Revenue — a predecessor agency to today’s ATF.

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