From: HK Edgerton <>
Date: Wed, Jul 11, 2012
Subject: I Spoke to the Chief of Police of Lake City, Florida / An Open Letter to Ms. Lunelle /
To: siegels1 <>

Dear Ms. Lunelle,

My mama, to my knowledge, the only Black to ever receive a Confederate State Funeral, and who has a North Carolina Order of the Confederate Rose Heritage Award presented annually in her name, used to tell all her children that everything that you do is a reflection on your family, your race, your community, and importantly yourself. Because of this, you must strive to always do good.

On Tuesday evening, July 11, 2012, I spoke to the Chief of Police of Lake City, Florida, the Honorable Chief Argatha Gilmore. She is the first woman, and first Black, to serve in this position in Lake City, and I could not be any more proud of her than I was when the City of Ashevile, North Carolina, my hometown, promoted the first Black officer above the rank of sergeant, an issue that I fought so very hard for as President of the Asheville Chapter of the NAACP. And as proud as I am now that Asheville now has its first Black Chief of Police. And as proud that I am sure that mama is as she looks down at Chief Gilmore from Heaven.

I found the Chief to be first of all a person of deep Christian values, and a person who is committed to serving all the people of her community fairly. I found her to be somewhat baffled at the blind sided attack on her person at the lies directed at her for doing her job as not only the Chief, but also as an Ambassador of Goodwill as she greeted those who would attend the Olustee Festival. Her crime in doing her job was to pose for a picture with the men of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Mechanize Calvary. Surprising for me in a town that rakes in large sums of money from the re-enacting community as they re-enact the Battle of Olustee annually. I am convinced that these folks whether they wear the Confederate Grey, or Union Blue will not be happy about the pernicious attacks leveled at Chief Gilmore or be happy to return to a place that would be supportive of the hate filled message and libel of the officials of the NAACP.

The Chief asked of me to come before her Council and community not to defend her, but to help bring some clarity about the Southern Cross, and to help bring her community together with understanding in brotherhood. This NAACP should look down the highway to Cross City, Florida where the Honorable Commander Joe Sparacino of the Dixie Defenders Sons of Confederate Veterans reached out to the Black community, and the Honorable Angela Carter, President of the NAACP, and President of the Martin Luther King Peace March, not only accepted his hand, but for the last two years made a place for the Sons in their Parade, and to my delight would have the Sons lead that Parade to the delight of their citizenry just this past year.

I have a dream that one day the sons of former slaves, and the sons of former slave owners will sit down at the Table of Brotherhood touted Dr. Martin Luther King. Well, Chief Gilmore and the Mechanized Calvary, just like Commander Sparacino and President Carter of Cross City have prepared the Table of Brotherhood for this community, and I pray that I get to stand before them, God willingly, to say so on Tuesday evening. May the Almighty God bless Chief Gilmore and the community that she loves and serves so well.