LaGrange Police Chief to be honored as "hero in race relations" - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

LaGrange Police Chief to be honored as "hero in race relations"

(Source: Mercer Van Schoor/City of LaGrange) (Source: Mercer Van Schoor/City of LaGrange)
(Source: John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts) (Source: John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts)

LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM) – LaGrange Police Chief Louis Dekmar will be honored in Washington, D.C. for his exceptional strength, courage, and compassion when confronted by the forces of hate.

The 23rd annual Anti-Defamation League in Concert Against Hate will be October 30 at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Chief Dekmar is one of only four people in the country honored for being a hero in the battle against intolerance, injustice, and extremism.

In January, Dekmar, LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton, LaGrange College President Dan McAlexander, along with other community and faith members apologized for the department's involvement in the 1940 lynching death of Austin Callaway, an African-American teenager. After the teen's death. officials did not investigate or attempt to find Callaway's killers.

Debra Tatum, Austin Callaway's relative, NAACP President Ernest Ward along with other community members and members of the faith community worked together with Dekmar and continue to do so today.

According to the ADL, Dekmar will be honored as a "bridge builder for racial reconciliation in the South."

Other honorees include Ann Jaffe, a "Holocaust survivor and educator ensuring that every generation will never forget", Tolu Olubunmi, a "DREAMer and outspoken voice for immigrants", and Gavin Grimm, a "brave youth advocating for transgender rights."

Past hosts for this annual event include Barbara Walters, Liev Schreiber, Taye Diggs, Gabrielle Union, and Jeff Daniel. This year's hosts have not been announced yet.

The ADL In Concert Against Hate will be Monday, October 30th at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts at 8:30 pm.

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