There are many jobs that require courage and honor. One of the jobs that fits this description best is that of a Police officer. The duty of a police officer is to protect and serve the community they live in. Sadly they get the reputation as a nuisance due to the fact that they are in charge of enforcing traffic laws. After someone receives a speeding ticket it is a common reaction to be upset with a police officer. The feeling hopefully subsides when you realize their sole intention is to keep you and other individuals safe. The harrowing discovery that a beloved officer, husband and father was shot and killed by three fugitives deeply saddened me. Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was a 30-year police veteran who was shot while pursuing the three suspects. There are many other factors involved in the tragedy that was well covered by multiple news anchors ranging from CNN to local stations.
I found that many articles were revolving on a woman lying to police officers about the whereabouts of the suspects. FoxNews reported that Kristin Kiefer, was charged with disorderly conduct and falsifying a police report. Kiefer had called into the police station late Sunday night and reported that two men had tried to get into her car, and fled into a cornfield because they thought she was calling the police. Fox 8 News (Cleveland) reported that Kiefer was being held in Lake County Jail and was scheduled to have a bond meeting soon. According to CBS news this phone call sent dozens of police officers searching through corn fields in hopes of finding the suspects. NBC news stated that Kiefer explained that there were two assailants- one white and one black. I was horribly confused at why there would be any reason for her to act in this way other than if she were involved with the crime itself. CNN reported that the whole story was fabricated for her to solely gain attention from a family she had nannied. I struggle to believe that is the reason behind her lies, and am thinking that there may be more to her story than “just wanting attention.” I hope she realizes that she may have ruined the chance of the Glinewicz family ever being able to be at peace knowing their fathers’ murderers were still out in the world. The random selfishness does not add up for me, and I am curious as to whether investigators will look further into that side of the story.
Stories like this carry heavy emotional baggage, and the Chicago tribune quoted the wife of the victim. “He’s got four sons that are going to have to go on alone.” This sentence alone made me realize the most important fact in the entire tragedy. It is not that a lady lied, or even that the suspects were able to evade. It is that a family who once had a loving husband and father is now broken. This is crushing to me, and will provide motivation to the people who are attempting to catch the suspects. Major Crime Task Force Commander George Filenko told USA Today reporters “I’m not going to set a timeline on this. I have a murdered colleague, a police officer. We’re not going to stop. This kind of courage and determination is exactly what is needed for a search such as this. USA Today also reported that Filenko did not believe the suspects were likely to be in an immediate area and urged surrounding towns to be on watch for anyone acting suspiciously.
An interesting opinion article that caught my eye on CNN had the title “The way to catch Illinois cop killers”. The author of the article, Phillip Lerman, expressed the police officers in search of the suspects needed the help of the public. He claims it is the most effective tool law enforcement has to catch fugitives. He states that in hundreds of cases there were members of the public who knew where the fugitives were and that is what led to their capture. A local news station located near the scene of the accident had more in-depth quotes from Task Force Commander Filenko (who was also interviewed by USA Today). He explained how there were surveillance videos that they were intending on viewing, possibly giving vital information that could help in the capture of the suspects. Another local news station, Courier-Post, stated in a video that policemen donated their search dogs to add to the already impressive number of officers and dogs that were on the hunt. This simply shows how much Officer Gliniewicz meant to his community and surrounding communities as well.
- http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/02/opinions/lerman-illinois-manhunt/ (very good opinion article)
- http://archive.courierpostonline.com/VideoNetwork/4458818951001/Manhunt-intensifies-for-Illinois-cop-s-killer (local video)