Friday, October 24, 2014
It is their job.........
They are missed and loved so well
Let us pray and toll the bell
Those killed in the line of duty"
Officer Darren Wilson had told authorities that he and Michael Brown had struggled through the window of his police car at the beginning of the incident that led to the fatal shooting. Reports had immediately emerged that described a couple of friends strolling down the street minding their own business. An officer drove up to them, told them to get out of the road and within seconds, one of the unarmed boys was gunned down, shot in the back like a dog while he was unarmed and had his hands up in surrender.
More of the facts have emerged during the two months since the shooting.........Brown was not shot in the back as so many were quick to believe. Now the information from the FBI forensic tests on Wilson's patrol car have been released and that shows that there was some sort of scuffle within Wilson's car. The officer's gun was fired two times inside the car, one bullet hit Brown in the arm and the other missed. Brown's blood was found on the interior door panel, the gun and Wilson's uniform.
Wilson had stated that he feared for his life during the struggle and many scoffed at that idea because, cripes that boy Brown was unarmed. Well, Brown, 18, was 6' 4" and 292 pounds, which to put it in some perspective, is about an inch shorter and 18 pounds lighter than the average NFL lineman. It has been proven that he was unarmed, as in he did not have any weapon on him other than his size and his fists. What we do have is a large young man who had only minutes before, stolen merchandise from a store, almost left the store but returned to physically intimidate and shove someone in the store and then stroll along the middle of the road in broad daylight.
Instead of using the sidewalk like most people of my generation were taught to use, Brown brazenly walked along the center even while a car approached. According to his friend and accessory to theft, Dorian Johnson, the officer pulled up to them, ordered them to get to the sidewalk and then after driving forward, he backed up and hit them with the door of the patrol car. He stated that the door bounced back and Wilson grabbed Brown and threatened to shoot him. When the shot hit Brown he stated that they both took off running. I would believe Johnson more if he was not a proven liar and if he had been a bit more honest in his early interviews with the media......... he forgot to mention that they had just robbed a store.
Wilson did not know about the robbery minutes before by Brown and many have tried to state that it had no bearing on the shooting. I beg to differ because the video of that robbery shows a large man taking what he wanted from the counter and walking almost out of the door, only to return and intimidate and shove a man in the store. He had no reason to step back in and shove a much smaller man but he did and minutes later, he is involved in an altercation with an officer. In my opinion, Brown did not fear using his size to get whatever he wanted to get.
A more detailed version of Wilson's statements has been released and it describes Johnson and Brown meeting the officer in the middle of the street. Brown continued to walk by holding the stolen merchandise and cursed Wilson. Wilson states that he then heard a description of the men wanted for the robbery and backed up to the two. There was a significant altercation in the front of his vehicle and Brown did not flee until the shot had hit him. Wilson states that he was sitting on his baton, could not use pepper spray and did not have a taser on him. He states that he does not remember yelling anything at Brown when he pursued him but Brown did stop, turn around and then charged him. He added that Brown's head was facing down when the fatal shot hit him. I can imagine what it looked like to a 5' 7", 170 pound officer when a 6' 4" 292 linebacker started to charge him. I think this does establish that the meek boy Brown was, was not kneeling on the ground with his hands up in surrender nor was he shot down from behind as he was fleeing a "bad cop."
There are those who still will scoff at Officer Wilson fearing for his life because he was armed and Brown was not. That is not a reason to become fearless on the job since armed officers are killed on the job, many times during what should be a routine traffic stop. I may be crazy but when I grew up, the police had the authority....... they were not the enemy but they certainly were to be respected or you would pay when your parents found out. Desperate criminals were the only ones who shot officers..... when they were holed up in a bank or were running from the law. These days, with the boat-load of police shows on television, you should know that the police treat anyone they deal with as if they may be armed, even if it is just with their fists.
This is just s simple rundown of the price police in 2014 have had to pay and who else it will affect........
1/14/14 Officer Carlos Rivera-Vega.
14 year veteran of the Puerto Rico Police Department was shot and killed while conducting an investigation. The assailant walked up and questioned why they were there, pulled a pistol out and shot him. He leaves behind 3 children.
1/30/14 Sgt Cory Wride
19 year veteran of the Utah County Sheriff's Office. He stopped to investigate what he believed to be was an abandoned vehicle and the assailant opened fire with a rifle while hiding nearby. Wride was killed before he could exit the vehicle. He left behind a wife and five children.
2/11/14 Jonathon Pine
2 year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff's Office FL. Shot and killed while responding to reports of car break-ins in a gated community. He left behind a wife and 3 young children.
3/3/14 John Hobbs
21 year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department AZ. Both Hobbs and his partner were shot while trying to serve a felony warrant on a man who had recently been released from jail. He left behind a wife and 3 children.
3/10/14 Joaquin Correa-Ortega
12 year veteran of the Puerto Rico Police department. Was shot and killed while conducting an undercover arms purchase. He left behind a wife and one child.
3/12/14 Jason Crisp
16 year veteran of the United States Forest Service. He and his K-9 Maros were shot to death in Burke NC while participating in a search for a suspect who had killed his parents. He left behind a wife and 2 children.
3/17/14 Pete Richardson
19 year veteran of the Lafayette County Sheriff's Office AK. Was transporting a homeless man to a shelter when the man grabbed the wheel and caused the car to car into two others.
3/19/14 Ricky Del Fiorentino
26 year veteran of police service. Was shot while searching for a subject who had kidnapped two people in OR earlier that day and shot at a store owner in CA later that day.
3/22/14 Robert German
5 year veteran of the Windermere Police Department FL. Was shot while investigating two suspicious persons. A BOLO had been put out for the individuals as being possibly suicidal and they killed themselves after shooting the officer.
3/24/14 Master at Arms 2nd Class Mark Mayo
6 year veteran of the U S Navy Security Forces. Was shot when a civilian boarded the USS Mahan when it was docked at the Norfolk Naval station in VA. He left behind his mother.
3/24/14 Mark H Larson
8 year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office FL. Died from injuries sustained during a traffic stop on 1/25/93 when the driver grabbed Larson's arm and drove away. He shot the driver and the driver rammed Larson into a guardrail before driving away. Larson's legs were broken and he lost an arm due to injuries. The US Navy veteran left behind a wife and one child.
3/28/14 Alexander Thalmann
7 month veteran of the New Bern Police Department NC. Was conducting a subject stop of a man on a bicycle when the man fled on foot and opened fire with a handgun, killing him and injuring a fellow officer. Thalmann was also a member of the US Marine Corps Reserves.
3/31/14 David Smith
18 1/2 year veteran of the Johnson City Police Dept NY. Was responding to a disturbance call at a business when the employee who had assaulted another employee ran out and attacked Smith while he was still in his car. Smith was killed with his own service weapon before he could exit the patrol car. He left behind a young son.
4/14/14 Michael Seversen
Veteran of the Polk County Sheriff's Office WI. Died from complications from a gunshot wound he received on 4/19/91. He attempted to arrest a man who was wanted for a shooting the previous day and was paralyzed from the neck down while another officer, Allen Albee was killed.
5/1/14 Gabriel Rich
Veteran of 3 1/2 years with the Alaska State Troopers and 4 years with the North Pole Police Dept. Went to the home of a suspect that was reported to have been brandishing a gun in the town of Tanana several days earlier and was shot within the home of the suspect. He left behind 2 sons and a fiance.
5/1/14 Patrick Scott Johnson
20 year veteran of the Alaska State Troopers and 3 years with the North Slope Borough Police Dept. Went to the home of a suspect that was reported to have been brandishing a gun in the town of Tanana several days earlier and was shot within the home of the suspect. He left behind a wife and 3 daughters.
5/3/14 Roberto Sanchez
6 year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Dept CA. Was killed when his patrol car was intentionally rammed by an SUV that they were attempting to stop for a traffic stop. His partner in the car survived his injuries. He left behind a wife.
5/11/14 Charles Dinwiddie
18 year veteran of the Killeen Police Dept TX. Died from gunshot to his face while conducting a SWAT operation in an apartment complex on 5/9/14. He left behind a wife and 2 children.
5/12/14 Stephen Arkell
12 year veteran of the Brentwood police Dept NH. Was killed while responding to a domestic dispute. He entered the home with other officers and the male inside shot him. He left behind a wife and 2 daughters.
5/24/14 Jair Cabrera
7 year veteran of the Salt River Police Dept AZ. Was killed while making a traffic stop. The suspect exited his vehicle and opened fire with a rifle before Cabrera could exit his vehicle. He left behind a girlfriend, parents and a brother.
5/29/14 Christopher Skinner
13 year veteran of the New York State Police. Was intentionally struck and killed by a motor vehicle when he was conducting a traffic stop. The vehicle crossed two lanes, stuck him and fled. He left behind a fiance and three children.
5/30/14 Brian Jones
5 year veteran of the Norfolk Police Dept VA and a US Navy veteran. Was killed in an ambush by a subject who had been randomly firing a gun at citizens while driving. He left a wife and 3 young children.
5/31/14 Kevin Jordan
4 year veteran of the Griffin Police Dept GA and a US Marine veteran. Was shot and killing while arresting a female on an overtime assignment. He had arrested the female when a male shot him three times in the back. He left behind 7 children.
6/8/14 Igor Soldo
8 year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept, Nevada. Was shot and killed by ambush while eating lunch at a pizza restaurant.
6/8/14 Alyn Beck
14 year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept, Nevada. Was shot and killed by ambush while eating lunch at a pizza restaurant.
6/19/14 Chief of Police Lee Dixon
18 years of service with the Little River-Academy Police Dept TX and the Milam County Sheriff's Office TX. Was shot and killed while responding to a report of a man with a gun at a home. He left behind a wife.
6/23/14 Allen Bares
15 year veteran of the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office LA and the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office LA. Was shot and killed while off duty. He was cutting grass and observed two men crash their car. He notified the sheriff's office, approached the men and identified himself as an officer. He was then shot and the men stole his truck. He left behind a wife and 2 children.
7/5/14 Perry Renn
22 year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Dept. Was shot and killed while responding to a report of shots fired. He was a US Army veteran.
7/6/14 Jeffrey Westerfield
19 year veteran of the Gary Police Dept IN. Was shot and killed by ambush and a civilian discovered him shot in his patrol car and called 911. He was killed on his 47th birthday and left behind a fiance and four daughters.
7/13/14 Melvin Santiago
6 month veteran of the Jersey City Police Dept NJ. Was shot and killed while responding to a robbery call at a 24-hour pharmacy. Assailant had beat the private security guard severely, stole his gun and ambushed Santiago and his partner. He had only graduated the academy six months before his death.
7/30/14 Scott Patrick
19 year veteran of the Mendota Heights Police Dept. CA Was shot and killed while making a traffic stop. He was standing next to his patrol car's door when the subject fired multiple times, killing him. He left a wife and 2 teenage daughters.
8/14/14 Joseph Dunn
2 1/2 year veteran of the Cascade County Sheriff's Office MT. Was struck and killed by a vehicle that was being pursued by other officers. A US Marine Corps veteran who left behind a wife and 2 children.
8/23/14 Chief of Police Michael Pimental
43 year veteran of the Elmendorf Police Dept TX and the San Antonio Independent School District Police Dept. Was a US Army veteran of the Vietnam War. Was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle in a residential area.
8/25/14 Geniel Amaro-Fantauzzi
16 year veteran of the Puerto Rico Police Dept. Died of gunshot wounds he received on 8/19/14 while conducting a narcotics investigation.
9/13/14 Daryl Pierson
8 year veteran of the Rochester Police Dept NY. Was shot and killed while in a foot pursuit of a suspect following a traffic stop. He was a veteran of the National Guard and left behind a wife and 2 young children.
9/7/14 Nickolaus Schultz
1 year veteran of the Merrillville Police Dept IN. Died of gunshot received on 9/5/14. Was investigating a report that an evicted tenant had moved back into the condo. Subject was wearing body armor and ambushed the responding officers, shooting Schultz in the head.
9/7/14 Jason Harwood
15 year veteran of the Topeka Police Dept KS. Was shot and killed while making a traffic stop when one of the vehicle's occupants fired at him. He left behind a wife and 2 sons.
9/8/14 Joseph Matuskovic
17 year veteran of the Charleston county Sheriff's Office SC. Was killed while assisting on a disturbance call where the subject was pounding on apartment and vehicle doors. Subject went into an apartment and fired an AK-47 style rifle through the door. He left behind a fiance and 3 children.
9/12/14 Bryon Dickson
7 year veteran of the Pennsylvania State Police. Was killed by ambush as he walked out of the barracks. He was a veteran of the US Marine Corps and left behind a wife and 2 sons.
9/15/14 Michael Norris
2 year veteran of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office GA. Died from a gunshot received on 9/13/14 while responding to a call of an armed, suicidal man. Left behind a wife.
10/9/14 Michael Naylor
Veteran of the Midland County Sheriff's Office TX. Was shot and killed while trying to serve a warrant on a child sexual predator. He was a veteran of the US Air Force and worked within the Mental health Unit.
The officers shown above who have lost their lives this past year are only a percentage of the total who have lost their lives while on the job. They are not included in the total numbers of officers who have been injured or assaulted by individuals while on the job. While the mobs hold up their hands in "surrender", burn and loot during their peaceful demonstrations, there is little spoken about the dangers these men and women face each day on the job. There are certainly bad cops and there is certainly places where the law oversteps it's ground but where did the attitude that "I don't have to listen to or obey an officer" come from?
I chose to list these officers because of the seemingly randomness of their deaths over what many times, should be a routine incident. We are treated to videos of people refusing to exit cars when they are told to because they are "afraid".......... don't you think that the officer is asking a person to do this for their own protection? I have known since I was a small child, if you assault a cop and/or run away, there is a very good chance that I would would injured, shot and arrested. It is not my right to expect no consequences from swearing at a police officer. It is my right to act that stupid but in the end, somehow I will pay for that momentary lack of proper thought. Before we all loot the town because an unarmed "boy" was killed, let's find out what the facts are. At this point, I am having a difficult time not believing Wilson's side of the story because why would anyone get shot while their arm is in a patrol car if they were just minding their own business..... abiding the law on an afternoon.
By the way Ferguson..........you may want to take a few tips from the peaceful protesters in Hong Kong. They have managed to hold peaceful demonstrations while cleaning up after themselves as well as not burning or looting the area businesses for the "free stuff." While you rant that it is unfair for you to be prevented from blocking a major highway to push your message, these thousands of protesters are peacefully trying to demand a right that the Chinese government will not grant them so far.
Related posts on this blog:
Update Oct 27 2014:
Two more officers lost their life after being shot by the same subject, a man who had been deported from the US on two occasions but had returned again......... illegally.
10/24/14 Danny Oliver
15 year veteran of the Sacramento County CA Sheriff's Dept. Was investigating a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a motel when the subject shot him in the head with an AR-15 rifle. Subject fled after carjacking two vehicles and shooting a civilian and were later spotted stopped alongside the road. He left behind a wife and 2 daughters.
10/24/14 Michael Davis Jr
15 year veteran of the Placer County CA Sheriff's Office. He and his partner encountered the subject that had already killed Danny Oliver in a vehicle that stopped alongside the road. Subject opened fire on both of the officers with AR-15 rifle and Davis died of his injuries....... 26 years to the day of his father Michael Davis Sr, who died in the line of duty while serving the Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. on Oct 24 1988.
Update Nov 26 2014:
11 year veteran of the Ventura County CA Sheriff's Office. Was struck and killed by a hit and run drunk driver while returning to his vehicle following a traffic stop. He left behind a wife and stepchild.
10/29/14 Jesse Valdez III
11 year veteran of the Harris County TX Sheriff's Office. Was struck head on while driving to a welfare check by a driver who was suspected of being under the influence. He left behind a mother and a 10 year old son.
10/29/14 Shaun Diamond
8 year veteran of the Pomona CA Police Dept and served 16 years total as an officer. Died from a shotgun wound suffered the day before while serving a search warrant. He left behind a son and a daughter.
7 year veteran of the Chandler AZ Police Dept and a member of the National Guard. Was struck and killed by a drunk driver while stopped at a red light on his motorcycle. He left behind a child.
Veteran of the Cedar County MO Sheriff's office of almost two years. Was attempting to stop a motor vehicle that was driving with no headlights and was shot after a foot chase of one of the suspects. He left behind a wife and a young child.
6 year veteran of the Leon County FL Sheriff's Office and had served in law enforcement for 26 years. Was shot while responding to a house fire that is believed to have been deliberately set so that the shooter could kill as many first responders as possible. Arriving officers did not know there was an officer-safety alert because the address next door had been used to report the fire. He left behind a wife and several children.