Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
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.