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Plano Police Chief Ed Drain reflects on Martin Luther King’s legacy



PLANO, TX – Plano Police Chief Ed Drain reflected on the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after being named a Collin College 2021 MLK Community Scholarship honoree.

Drain made his comments during a video conference with Albert Tezeno, vice president of student and enrollment services at Collin College.

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The chief said he was especially impressed by the story of King’s stabbing at a book signing in Harlem in 1958, when a mentally ill woman attacked the civil rights leader with a letter opener. King was hospitalized and the blade was removed from his chest after hours of surgery. He nearly lost his life.

“When Dr. King recovered, though, he had no malice toward this woman,” Drain said.

In a statement he gave from the hospital, King instead wished that the woman would get the help she needed.

Drain said that when he heard the account, it made a lasting impression on him.

“When I deal with people who do bad things to me, you have to go back and realize sometimes we need to go back and continue to pray for them because of the problems that they’re having,” Drain said.

King later referred to the attack in one of his most famous speeches, which he gave in Memphis on April 3, 1968, the day before he was assassinated.

King said that, with the letter opener stuck in his chest and perilously close to an artery, he was told by doctors, “if I had sneezed, I would have died.”

If he had sneezed, King said, he would not have been around for many of the most pivotal events of the civil rights movement, including the “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963 and the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965.

“I’m so happy that I didn’t sneeze,” King said.