The Other Robert E. Lee

The Other Robert E. Lee

Some people in Kent thought their police station was named for the Confederate general. They were wrong.

After white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, protested the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in August 2017, some residents of Kent, Washington noticed that their police department was located inside the Robert E. Lee Memorial Building. Wait… what? In part two of our What’s in a Name series, we explore the origins of the building’s name and discover a man who, to the people of Kent anyway, managed to overshadow the legacy of his namesake.

Featuring Vicki Lee Schmitz, now-former Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke, Kent City Councilmember Brenda Fincher, and Kent City Council President Bill Boyce.

Music by Leeni Ramadan

This week’s cover photo features Vicki Lee Schmitz standing next to the building that is named after her father, Robert E. Lee. It was taken by Steve Hunter of the Kent Reporter, who first reported this story last August.




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