MVT Celebration of Black History Month Closes with Tribute to the “Cobb” in Cobb Park

Friday March 1, 2024

As we close out our February celebration of Black History Month and pivot toward Women’s History Month starting tomorrow, March 1, today we honor and celebrate a local hero whose name – while unfamiliar to many – in recent years has become oft-spoken within our Mount Vernon Triangle community.

On September 20, 1974, MPD Officer Gail A. Cobb was shot by a robbery suspect near 20th & L Streets NW—making her not only the first female Metropolitan Police Department officer to be killed in the line of duty, but also the first African American female law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty in the United States. Officer Cobb’s funeral was a highly publicized event in DC, drawing thousands of mourners and police officers from around the country, and was contemporaneous with completion of the roadway component of the I-395 Center Leg Freeway in 1973.

Included in that construction was an unnamed triangular parcel of greenspace just south of H Street that, according to research commissioned by MVT CID, the neighborhood was said to have informally named “Cobb’s Park” in honor of Officer Cobb. Over time this space has become formally recognized by the District government as Cobb Park, an acknowledgement also shared within the Metropolitan Police Department for its connection to their fallen colleague. As published earlier this month, plans currently are underway for groundbreaking on Cobb Park to occur by early summer so that this space can fulfill its potential as the iconic open and artistic space, destination, and gateway into Mount Vernon Triangle and downtown DC that our community has advocated for it to be.

Visit the related links below to learn more about Officer Gail Cobb and to read all of this year’s Black History Month profiles. And stay tuned for further coverage of our Women’s History Month celebration throughout the month of March.

Below: Officer Gail Cobb’s name as inscribed on National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Judiciary Square

Related Links:

Officer Gail Cobb

MPD Memorial to Gail A. Cobb
Officer Down Memorial Page for Gail Cobb
Wikipedia Profile of Gail Cobb

MVT Celebration of Black History Month

MVT Celebrates Black History Month,” February 2, 2024
MVT Black History Month Celebration Continues with Spotlight on AAMC’s Health Equity Initiatives,” February 9, 2024
February 15, 2024: MVT Black History Month Celebration Continues with Spotlight on Bishop Smallwood E. Williams, Force Behind the “Bible Way Bend,February 15, 2024