In the news, there are a wide variety of things that are covered. There are positive happenings, but the news is almost always dominantly negative. It is impossible to look on FoxNews or CNN without seeing at least one article where something such as a murder or robbery has taken place. Sadly, many articles I have seen lately are about the murders of police officers. Considering I just went on my police ride along, each article about murdered police officers catches my eye more than before. They always carry a heavy weight to them, but after my experience of spending an afternoon with a police officer, I read the article with a new perspective.
According to FoxNews, an off duty police officer was shot multiple times and killed Sunday afternoon. The officer was identified as Terence Olridge, 31, during a news conference. The news conference also revealed horrifying news in relation to his shooting. It happened near his house as he was about to leave for work. Olridge’s fiancé, who is four months pregnant with the couple’s first child, was inside the home during the shooting. This portion of the story absolutely tore me apart. Not only did the family lose their loved one, but his child will have to grow up without it’s father. The emotional baggage this brings to the story is second to none, and the tragedy that was already terrible reached a new level.
A disturbing fact that is being highlighted with the story is that Olridge is the fourth Memphis police officer to be fatally shot in slightly more than four years. Olridge’s death also comes only two months after Officer Sean Bolton was fatally shot. Tim Warren was another Memphis officer who was fatally killed in 2011. Recently, a very heart warming moment in his daughter’s life was captured by many news stations. Warren’s daughter Jewel had been invited to a father-daughter dance and was “at a loss,” according to the Memphis Police Departments Facebook page. Six police officers volunteered to attend the event with young Jewel. On Today.com, there were many great pictures of the officers on the dance floor displaying their moves. A wonderful quote was also featured in the article. “We know we can not replace Tim, but we can be there for his family when we are needed. it was truly an honor.” This was spoken by Officer Amen. Officer Pfiel added, “It was an honor to be able to attend this event and to help keep Tim’s memory alive.” The show of support from the police was just the beginning, as local business donated flowers and photography to the cause. It is truly uplifting to see stories like this unfold from what initially was a tragedy. The impact the officers had on the fallen officer’s daughter is incredible, and her night will be unforgettable.
According to CNN, the city’s police director has expressed that the details are “very sketchy.” Director Toney Armstrong said, “we’re at the beginning stages of this investigation. There are more questions than we have answers right now.” There is a suspect being held in custody and the suspect’s sister was in contact with CNN. She said that her brother was washing his car and got into an argument with Oldridge. Police director Toney Armstrong released a statement that was very emotionally driven. “Please continue to pray for this department. It wasn’t very long ago that I stood probably in very close proximity to where I’m standing now, and i said something very similar to what I’m saying here. And it just doesn’t get easier. I didn’t think we’d be here again so soon.” With any death that occurs, it is very hard on the surrounding community. With so many deaths happening so close to each other, I can’t imagine the numbness the citizens in Memphis are experiencing. Because I am from a small town I may be considerably misunderstanding how people are feeling, but the death I experienced in my small town was one that brought an entire community together. Granted, there is roughly over 10,000 people living in the town I call home, but I have never encountered a more unified community experience than through the death of my best friend.
I am hoping there is similar unification happening in Memphis, something that could strengthen the city rather than continue to break it. My heart is broken for the families who have lost loved ones, and am thankful for the community members who are showing relentless support for those suffering.