Putting a Face on Law Enforcement

 

As we drove home on Friday from Gainesville, we heard the news that two cops had been killed in Trenton, FL. It turns out that Trenton is in Gilchrist County and wasn’t far from where we were driving.

The two cops were dining in a Chinese restaurant in Trenton on a lunch break. Their names were Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 30, married and father of two, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, who had a girlfriend. The shooter walked into the restaurant and killed them both, then killed himself inside his car.

No one knows why.

Sgt. Ramirez was more than his role at the Gilchrist Sheriff’s Department.

He was a devoted father, too.

Deputy Lindsey was early into his adult life at the age of 25. He will never know what it’s like to be a married man or possibly a father.

The City of Trenton is a small town. As of 2014, the population count was 2,023. The average resident age was 30.1 years. The estimated median house or condo value in 2016 was $89,724, compared to Florida as a whole at $197,700. The median household income in 2016 was $35,908, compared to the rest of Florida at $50,960. The town is known for its Nature Coast State Trail, the Dakotah Winery nearby, and that it is part of the Florida Quilt Trail. An average small town, its story has been forever changed.

Too often we hear about these incidents and are angered and frustrated. A tiny part of us dies, not only with the officers and their families, but with the community, too. The public wants to stereotype the officers as violent and racist; after all, stereotypes are easy to demonize. They decimate the humanity of law enforcement, and degrade its dedication, and hold it responsible for the increasing violence in America, instead of looking at themselves in the mirror.

It’s our job as citizens who appreciate the commitment and service of law enforcement to let the public know that these are real human beings. That they are not only officers of the law, but they are fathers, friends, husbands, parents, and engaged members of the community. They adore their kids and significant others. They have barbecues and enjoy Chinese food and go to work every day, hoping to do their jobs well. They are not the demons you would like them to be.

Gilchrest County Sheriff Bobby Schultz blamed the deaths on hatred toward law enforcement:

What do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent it’s been demonized? Every type of hate, every type of put-down you can think of. . . The only thing these men were guilty of is wanting to protect you and me. They just wanted to get something to eat, and they just wanted to do their job.

So the next time you have someone refer to a cop shooting, and they give the appropriate tongue clicking, or shrug their shoulders or change the subject, remind them:

These are human beings. Just like you and me.

There are 13 comments.

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  1. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Thank you, Susan, for that very timely reminder of the humanity of these folks, and all that we owe them for their service.

    • #1
  2. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Susan Quinn: These are human beings. Just like you and me

    Great Post, Susan. Thanks for putting a face to the people we just hear about on the news. God Bless the memories of these two. At least now they know peace.

    • #2
  3. Mike Rapkoch Moderator
    Mike Rapkoch
    @MikeRapkoch

    Well, while we need to show respect for the police, we sometimes forget that they are not immune from public criticism. Here in Billings, MT we’ve had five fatal shootings in the past year–a rate that, per capita, exceeds Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Miami. Two police shootings in two days recently all of which may be justified, but strict scrutiny is required Three officers have been suspended for having sex on city property with a woman who is facing charges from stealing drugs from the evidence locker. Suspended, not fired, which is inexplicable to me. As the old saying goes, we need to watch those who are watching us.

    • #3
  4. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    My heart breaks for these two young men and their families. I have a niece and her husband that are Florida State Troopers. I pray for them on a regular basis.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mike Rapkoch (View Comment):
    Three officers have been suspended for having sex on city property with a woman who is facing charges from stealing drugs from the evidence locker. Suspended, not fired, which is inexplicable to me. As the old saying goes, we need to watch those who are watching us.

    I think that’s true, Mike, for any job, in any profession. Accountability is key!

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I was thinking over @mikerapkoch‘s comment, and I want to be clear that I don’t want special treatment for cops, or even to assume that they are always in the right. Instead, I’m just asking that we remind people that cops are human, not monsters, and don’t deserve as a group all the condemnation they get.

    • #6
  7. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I can’t remember in the past, of this level of hatred and anger from young people toward innocent people, law enforcement and just in general that has come about since the Obama presidency – this victim mentality  – labeling groups and pitting people against each other – that has resulted in such despair – for a person to do that and then take his life, what message came from that? Senseless – The message is any action is justified – I am sad to hear of this loss, of the young officers and the victim – it’s a symptom of brokenness and a disconnect in our society, especially among the young.

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    I am sad to hear of this loss, of the young officers and the victim – it’s a symptom of brokenness and a disconnect in our society, especially among the young.

    Thank you, FSC. Your sentence above says it well. My only hope is that we are all seeing brokenness, not destruction.

    • #8
  9. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    @susanquinn, I would like to recommend to you and any other of our colleagues who might be interested in a very good presentation on this matter and the difference in treatment of this wanton killing and the media craziness which has attended the incident in Philadelphia involving the two loiterers who had to be hauled out of a Starbuck’s there.  It is from MRCTV, which I find myself watching more and more lately and for convenience sake, I have copied out the message I sent my list about it over the weekend: 

    “Brittany Hughes on the difference in media hysteria about two loiterers in a Starbuck’s in Philadelphia being asked (!) to (gasp) obey the law and the almost total vacuum of coverage when two police officers are shot to death while sitting in a diner having a sandwich for-apparently—the crime of dining while wearing the uniform of a law enforcement officer. Highly recommended—by the way, to corroborate her point, as hard as I try to stay up on current news of this sort especially, I had never heard of the incident she talked about. As with all her videos, I highly recommend this one; it really packs a wallop!”

    “Link: https://youtu.be/ysTx9aNSVX0

    As you will observe, I am fast becoming a big fan of Brittany Hughes and her video on this tragic incident, and the rot in the media it illuminates, is right on target.

    Sincerely, Jim

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jim George (View Comment):

    @susanquinn, I would like to recommend to you and any other of our colleagues who might be interested in a very good presentation on this matter and the difference in treatment of this wanton killing and the media craziness which has attended the incident in Philadelphia involving the two loiterers who had to be hauled out of a Starbuck’s there. It is from MRCTV, which I find myself watching more and more lately and for convenience sake, I have copied out the message I sent my list about it over the weekend:

    “Brittany Hughes on the difference in media hysteria about two loiterers in a Starbuck’s in Philadelphia being asked (!) to (gasp) obey the law and the almost total vacuum of coverage when two police officers are shot to death while sitting in a diner having a sandwich for-apparently—the crime of dining while wearing the uniform of a law enforcement officer. Highly recommended—by the way, to corroborate her point, as hard as I try to stay up on current news of this sort especially, I had never heard of the incident she talked about. As with all her videos, I highly recommend this one; it really packs a wallop!”

    “Link: https://youtu.be/ysTx9aNSVX0

    As you will observe, I am fast becoming a big fan of Brittany Hughes and her video on this tragic incident, and the rot in the media it illuminates, is right on target.

    Sincerely, Jim

    Thanks for sharing this video, @jimgeorge. Just a slight correction to relating the story: the cops weren’t shot through the restaurant window; the shooter entered the restaurant and shot them. Even more audacious from my viewpoint. And Hughes is also correct that our priorities are really messed up regarding those things that are important or just headline-grabbing. It’s very sad.

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    We had a truly terrible loss here on Cape Cod last week, in my little town of Yarmouth. A young police officer, a canine officer, was shot and killed by a criminal. Our officer was only trying to serve a warrant. The criminal was hiding in a closet in an upstairs room in a house the police had been watching. Barnstable, the next town over, doesn’t have its own canine unit, so they asked for our help. We sent our best guy. When our guy went upstairs, the dog led him to a closet, and the criminal shot through the closet door, killing the officer and the wounding Nero, his faithful dog and friend.

    First on Cape Cod, then Massachusetts, and then throughout all of New England, the public was incensed. We have lost a wonderful young man–three college degrees, a wife and a baby on the way. The outpouring of love and support was incredible. We had over a thousand police officers at the wake and memorial services. They came from all over New England to support the local police department and Sean’s family:

    A very interesting thing has happened here. The community–the people and the police–have come together to weep and mourn but also to express love and friendship.

    This augurs well for the future.

    What is needed is a restoration of the friendliness and respect that used to exist between the community and our police officers.

    I believe a spark has been lit here in my little town. I truly do. We will all come together to love and respect and support one another going forward.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MarciN (View Comment):

    A very interesting thing has happened here. The community–the people and the police–have come together to weep and mourn but also to express love and friendship. 

    This augers well for the future. 

    What is needed is a restoration of the friendliness and respect between the community and our police officers. 

    I believe a spark has been lit here in my little town. I truly do. We will all come together to love and respect and support one another going forward. 

    Marci, I love this–completely. How sad that tragedy is what often seems to bring us together the most powerfully. I hope this is a step forward for your town, and that you and your community will set a standard for all of us. Thank you.

    • #12
  13. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    A very interesting thing has happened here. The community–the people and the police–have come together to weep and mourn but also to express love and friendship.

    This augers well for the future.

    What is needed is a restoration of the friendliness and respect between the community and our police officers.

    I believe a spark has been lit here in my little town. I truly do. We will all come together to love and respect and support one another going forward.

    Marci, I love this–completely. How sad that tragedy is what often seems to bring us together the most powerfully. I hope this is a step forward for your town, and that you and your community will set a standard for all of us. Thank you.

    I do too, Susan. Our police chief, Chief Frederickson, has said on several occasions this past week that he has been surprised and gladdened to experience the warmth and love from the community at large.

    It is a terrible tragedy, many tears have flowed this past week, but I think some good has come out of it. Our young officer is in God’s good hands now, and I hope that the spirit of love and service that he embodied will surround all of our police departments and the communities in which they live and work from now on.

    • #13

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