Plano Police Chief Ed Drain reflected on the life of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. after being named the recipient of the 2021 MLK Collin College Community Fellowship.
Drain made his comments during a video conference with Albert Tezeno, vice president of student services and enrollment at Collin College.
The chief said he was particularly impressed with the story of King’s stabbed at a signing session in Harlem in 1958, when a woman with mental illness attacked the civil rights leader with a cut -paper. King was hospitalized and the blade was removed from his chest after hours of surgery. He almost lost his life.
“When Dr. King recovered, however, he had no meanness towards this woman,” Drain said.
In a statement he made from the hospital, King instead wished the woman would get the help she needed.
Drain said when he heard the story it made a lasting impression on him.
“When I deal with people who hurt me you have to go back and realize that sometimes we have to go back and keep praying for them because of the issues they are having,” Drain said.
King then referred to the attack in one of his most famous speeches, which he gave in Memphis on April 3, 1968, the day before his assassination.
King said that with the letter opener stuck in his chest and dangerously close to an artery, doctors told him: “If I had sneezed I would be dead.”
If he had sneezed, King said, he would not have attended many of the most important events in the civil rights movement, including the 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Marches. .
“I’m so glad I didn’t sneeze,” King said.