The death of a deputy

Deputy Moore

I take violence against police very personally. The media tends to cover the examples of bad police behavior because it sells copy, and not because all law enforcement officers are power hungry assholes. The fault is our own, we’ve demonstrated that we prefer turmoil and strife, that we’ll buy the terror before we’ll buy the guy who stayed with the stranded family roadside in a blizzard. The media reflects the consumer.

Some of the absolute best members of society are also wearing badges. I wish they got the same coverage as their lesser peers.

My father was a highway patrolman in Wyoming for over 30 years. Almost every Christmas morning involved him coming back from work, briefly, so we could open presents with him still in uniform, having already been at work for those first, frosty hours of Christmas morning. I always respected him as the type of cop who spent as much time helping people find gas and change tires as he did writing tickets.

I’ve met more people with stories of how Dad let them out of a ticket than people he actually wrote up.

Not all cops, particularly in the modern era are like that, I’ll grant.

My family was fortunate, perhaps, that Dad served in an area, and a time, when violence against police officers was very rare. But the men in Three Forks, Montana left a widow and orphans in the wake of their own ignorant and hateful lives. They killed a civil servant and left young children who will never know their own father as anything other than the fallen hero in stories relayed by friends and relatives.

It was a father and son who killed Deputy Moore. The son was shot and killed after a chase later that night, while the father survived to be brought into police custody.

I hope the father feels the full weight of that, and that the pain is at least as real as it is for Deputy Moore’s widow, children, friends and family. I hope he lives a very long life in jail, knowing that he was culpable in his own son’s death.

I still waive at cops when I pass them.

It’s just part of who I am. Until proven otherwise, every single police officer is here to help me and my family, whether it is by keeping us safe, or helping to change a tire on a cold, snowy night — their own families home, waiting and hoping they come home safely.

There is a special place in Hell for people who don’t respect that sacrifice.

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