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Letter to the Acting Attorney General on the District of Columbia Police Force.

August 27, 1931

My dear Mr. Attorney General:

I am glad to approve, in the special circumstances of the Federal Government's relation to the District of Columbia, that the Department of Justice should accede to the request of the District Commissioners for aid in investigation of recent charges against certain members of the Washington police.

However, we must not overlook the fact that Washington has an able and devoted police force. The vast majority of its honest men should be protected by determining if there are unworthy men in their midst. It is always possible that occasional individuals may have overstepped the law and humanity in treatment of criminals and those charged with crime, and if so, they should be severely punished. But even in such charges the police should not be prejudged on the allegations of criminals themselves or those accused of crime. There is too much tendency on the part of some people to forget the devoted work of the police, to forget the safety of society and the victims of criminals out of sympathy with criminals themselves.

Yours faithfully,


[The Honorable The Acting Attorney General, Washington, D.C.]

Note: Thomas Day Thacher was the Acting Attorney General.

Herbert Hoover, Letter to the Acting Attorney General on the District of Columbia Police Force. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/212009

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