I was curled in the fetal position on our futon. I should have been folding the laundry, but I kept getting stopped by texts and messages from other police wives who are terrified, just as I am.
I pick up one of my husband's sweat-stained white T-shirts. He wears these under his uniform. As I folded it, I realized that the one Richmond officer Daniel Ellis had is ruined, soaked with blood from a gunshot wound to the head from a thug, a convicted felon. One who would rather take a life than go back to prison, this time for robbing a woman at gunpoint. In broad daylight.
I clutched my husband's shirt and crumbled. I physically ached for Ellis' wife, child, siblings, parents and department. I wept for the officers all over our nation who saw this story and still got dressed and went to work. To do the very same thing Ellis did: knock on doors and ask questions. To do the same thing our Kentucky state trooper did weeks ago: pull someone over. To do the same thing the Texas officer did months ago: pump gas into his cruiser.
These aren't officers who work some inner-city gang task force, people. They work in small towns. This job is dangerous and life-threatening every day, in every town, on every shift.
I am mad and sad and outraged and sick. I wish others were, too. The laws we have in this country are so light on people who commit violent crimes. And we keep releasing them early and giving them third, fourth and fifth chances.
This will continue to happen as long as this society blames authority instead of the criminals. We pay more attention to the bad guy than the one fighting for his life. Nothing I see shows that this will change any time soon.
So our police family will grieve, support and regroup. I will be with my blue family from all over the state. We will raise money, pray, talk about legislation that could change things. We will make a difference; we will make our voices heard.
The question is, will you listen?