That cop who died today…

My coworker walked into my office and I told him, only half jokingly, that if one more person pissed me off this morning, I was probably going to snap.

Some of the recruits had been pushing my buttons with their repeated mistakes and lack of attention to detail.

I was in a foul mood.

“You’re not going to like this then,” he continued.

“The cop shot this morning died.”

Just like it has for eighteen years now, those words hit me like an unexpected punch in the gut.

I knew about the shooting, but assumed or hoped that he would be okay.

Surely he’d recover with time, just like many other people who get shot do.


Another police officer is dead.

A young man with a lot of life ahead of him is dead.

A young father is dead.

A young wife is a widow. She may spend days or weeks or months hoping it’s not true and that her young husband will be home soon.

A two year old will never toddle into his biological dad’s arms again or ever draw pictures of a police man and hand it to his daddy with pride.

“The cop shot this morning died.”

How many times can one hear those or similar words and still go on working as a police officer in spite of it?

Shortly after I heard the news, my own wife texted an emoji to my phone. It was the one where the face is blowing a heart shaped kiss.

Without words, I knew she knew, and that she was thinking about me. She was concerned for me and for her own kids.

We don’t have time for cops to be killed right now. We already have to rearrange our lives to accommodate the circus that is the second presidential debate in St. Louis, and now we have to prepare to bury a fellow officer.

Either event alone is difficult; their simultaneous occurrence is a mess.

Still, we will do it.

We will take care of these events because we must. Somebody has to.

County officers will work the debate alongside us City officers.

We will stand tall with black mourning bands on our badges, thinking about our lost comrade and our own determination to continue on with this fucking job. We will do it right in the face of people who hate Trump or Hillary or cops or just everything in general and who will take that hate out on the front line officers.

We’re easy targets.

We’re easy scapegoats for a system that many people don’t trust or like or respect anymore.

Hate that your taxes are too high?

Hate email scandals?

Hate billionaires who are going to build walls and deport immigrants?

Take it out on the police officers.

You’ll never get close enough to the people who truly cause your life misery, but we’re right here.

Spit in our faces.

Call our black officers vulgar, disgusting names.

Tell female officers you want to meet them off-duty and rape them.

Tell us you want us dead or that you’ll find us and do harm to our families.

This is what officers have to listen to during protests. Every time.

Pretend that we don’t hate email scandals or corrupt billionaires or have to pay taxes or face the same problems as every other schmuck does once we get home from work.

Pretend we’re not unique individuals who share your concerns and hopes for a better future.

We’ll be there for you anyway.

We’ll have our days off cancelled and our shifts lengthened so that everybody can enjoy their debate related shenanigans.

We do it so you can enjoy parades and fairs and professional sports events too.

It’s tiring sometimes, but we do it.

We do it even when we’re deflated by news that a local cop has died.

That somebody who was doing what you do every day has been murdered.

The silver lining is that I’m no longer angry and on the cusp of snapping.


I’m alive and my recruits are alive.

We’ll use this as a learning tool. Mistakes and lack of attention to detail when you’re out of the Academy can get you killed.

They need to know that.

They need to get that through their skulls.

My kids can still draw me pictures of police officers and hand them to me with pride.

My wife can still expect me to come home after a long shift.

My dogs will bark at me when I do come home, and I will be annoyed at them, but less so.

I’m thankful to have my health and my life.

My problems are irrelevant right now, because I wasn’t that cop who died today.



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127 Responses to That cop who died today…

  1. Anonymous says:

    My thoughts are simple. Love. Communication. Empathy. Humanity. And yet, my heart cannot wrap around the fact as to, “WHY!” For the life of me, I just don’t understand, “WHY!”
    I’m so sorry for all the loss of life, family- wives, husbands, kids, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas, grandpas, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, friends AND hearts. I’m just so sad over it all……..

  2. DFC S. R. Lemon, Morgan County Sheriff's Office (WV) says:

    God love you, brother… STAY SAFE!

  3. Sue...the cake lady says:

    My heart is heavy, and my eyes fill with tears for the young wife and baby left to grieve. Thank you all for your service and dedication. WE DO appreciate you! Prayers for peace and comfort said for ALL who love/cared about Officer Snyder

  4. #handsupletspray as #bluelivesmatter My heart and prayers are with Officer Snyder’s family and all of his fellow brothers and sisters who have served with him and continue to serve and protect in spite of all that has attempted to come against those in uniform. United we stand but divided we fall…people need to wake up!

  5. Shelia says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife & son and to all of his family and friends. We all appreciate all of his hard work and the sacrifices he has made to protect the community. I didn’t know him personally but I do know how hard all of our officers work to protect us. God Bless You.

  6. Pingback: ‘I wasn’t that cop who died today’ blog goes viral in response to officer’s slaying | Missouri Network Television

  7. Maggie O'C says:

    I love you so much Don. You are a cop, a lawyer and a gifted writer. xo

  8. Anonymous says:

    Someone shared this on Facebook and I happened to read it. I take wonderful officers for granted every day. I believe you have one of the hardest, if not THE hardest profession in our country. How do you constantly protect and serve people without losing faith in humanity when you almost always see the worst of humanity? And how hard it must be on spouses too!

    I will be in much prayer both for city and county officers and families these upcoming days with the debate. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Kathy W... Just a country girl who cares says:

    We all take it for granted everyday the dangers that officers put themselves in every single long hard grueling shift, so that we may have safety, to just simply walk to the mall in places. I just want to say thank you to All of you for Everything you do!! It certainly does not go unappreciated in this house. I taught my children the same respect. You are all heroes in our eyes. Thanks for the long hard hours you work, the weekends and holidays you sacrifice away from your families, all so you can protect and serve the community!!! Yes, true heroes!!! God Bless You All. I send my love, thoughts and prayers to all involved in the recent loss of Officer Snyder, may God wrap his arms around you and help with the grief in the days to come.

  10. Ann B Janda says:

    ALL LIVES MATTER…..LET ME REPEAT……ALL LIVES MATTER. If you have issues YOU take responsibility, do not blame or take it out on others.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Very well put Sir, we understand your feelings and your fears. Yet everyday you go back out there to protect us. My heart goes out to you and your family, and to the Officer that died. I ask God to watch over you and protect daily and to help stop this madness. God Bless you all.

  12. David Hambel says:

    I would like every officer out there that straps on a gun belt and badge, whether you’re male or female; Black, White, Asian, or Hispanic. There are people out here like me that have had your six from the beginning and will have it till the end. We support you, your brothers, and sisters unconditionally and without malice. We continue to back and support that thin blue line without falter. We support you as human beings that bleed red the same as us. Stand tall and god speed True Blue Warriors, for we are with you have have your six for continued support. And never forget when is been a bad day and you just want to throw in the towel, lean on your brothers and sisters. Lean on your community that backs you, but never ever given in to that evil that’s out there. There’s a quote I remember. It’s not word for word bit goes like this. “The only way for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

  13. Jean Brand says:

    If we expect this to be a part of our children and grandchildren’s lives, it will have to be taught, and rreinforced by US!!! We CANNOT rely on government controlled school systems.
    Heaven forbid if a teacher should try to teach about respect for life. Someone would surely complain to the school board that religion is being taught in schools. This is a tragedy.
    And we wonder why society is SO screwed up. What a disgrace that we have let our schools become a breeding ground for forced conforming to governmental amoral political correctness. It is no wonder our children of this country grow up immune to the Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” !
    Our colleges and universities just further produce and reinforce amoral governmental behavior. And we wonder why the world has become hate filled and unable to produce uncorruptable political figures.
    Our wonderful country is doomed if we glorify the corruptible political figures who would sell out their own citizens for a dollar amount.

  14. jessdewes says:

    Reblogged this on Jess Dewes: Photography, Writing & Advice and commented:
    With respect and appreciation for all of the dedicated, frustrated, and brave police officers I know, and those I haven’t met, I repost this piece.

  15. Laura Ehlers says:

    Thank you for your service. My husband was an officer, once upon a time. Thankfully he is still with us. He lost a good friend and partner in the line of duty shortly after he was reassigned. Every time I hear this sort of news I see that cloud pass over again.
    Stay safe and teach those recruits well.

  16. likeitfree says:

    Thank you to all officers for their service. Prayers go out to the family of this officer

  17. pegoleg says:

    I’m so sorry, Don.

  18. flamingolady56 says:

    I am so sorry you have lost another brother. These are very difficult times for law enforcement – more than ever before. Hatred for all things good and just is spreading. Please know there are many of us who think of each of you every day and pray for your safety. I thank you for your service to a sometimes seemingly ungrateful public. We could not exist without each and every one of you. My heart breaks each time I hear another officer has been slain. Stay safe and return home each shift to hug your loved ones.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Don of all Trades,

    Please, do not waste your time listening to those naysayers telling you that your beautifully written words are anything but that. For what it’s worth, I appreciate the job that you and your fellow officers do for us each and every day! You are heros and you deserve respect. Thank you for protecting myself and my family. I’m so sorry for your latest loss; Officer Blake Snyder, his family, and the entire county and city police department are in my thoughts and prayers. Godspeed.

  20. Jacob Long says:

    Hello. Reaching out from KSDK. Would like to talk with you about your blog post. Can you give me a call? 314-775-5870

  21. Anonymous says:

    Bless your heart, I appreciate you and I’m so happy for the officer and his family 😥💗

  22. Don
    Thanks for writing this, I am a retired California LEO, 32 years in the system, 25 in Narco, 12 of those UC. This brought tears to my eyes as it brought back so many memories. Memories of warrant services where the children were place in CPS because the house was filled with trash, needles everywhere, child beaten and abused and yet we were the bad guys for taking the children from their parenst. Junkies OD, frothing at the mouth, DB from OD’s and yet we were the bad guys, Reponding to homicides as a patrolman with a local PD in the bay area and yet we were the bad guys because we did not solve the crime in an hour like on TV, taking suicide investigations of our prothers because they could no longer take the pain created by the job.. and the list goes on.. BUT not one day went by that I thought of quitting, because I knew I made a difference. There was the occasional Thank You from some citizen , there was the person who wrote a letter saying you don’t know me but I just want to say thanks for handling things the way you did. These are the little rewards that make me proud that I was, still am and always will be a police offficer. Thanks.

    • D. Dilks says:

      Thank you for your service, I appreciate your sacrifices and the work you did and I respect you and all Law Enforcement….we were taught well by our parents, schools, churches ….Blessed be the Peace Officers….GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS AND ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT

  23. James Dare says:

    This is utter bullshit. He blames the anger on everyone and everything without once admitting that cops bear total responsibility when they abuse or murder citizens. Trump isn’t out there gunning people down or slamming their faces in windshields or extorting sex from women or shooting at people with their hands in the air or tazing elderly women confined to their beds or pepper spraying first graders. And neither is Hillary. These things have gone on a lot longer than the current presidential race. It’s not the debate that has people angry at cops; it’s their own actions that modern tech is now exposing. Yes, there are good cops, but this is just another example of covering up for bad cops, which makes them all a bit corrupt in some fashion. They have their Brotherhood and Union to cover their actions up. They have to have an Internal Affairs Division to investigate their corruption. What other profession requires that? Seriously, why do cops need watched more than any other worker? This is complete abdication of personal responsibility. This turd needs to find another job, because HE, not Trump or Clinton or angry voters, is the problem.

    • Agreed. says:

      Well said! However you are really going to irk the cop lovers amongst the crowd.

    • D. Dilks says:

      Seriously, I don’t know where you work, maybe for yourself? but every job I have ever worked monitored their employees…they had their own internal affairs… want fries with that you idiot???? You can say what you want, but Hillary is the most corrupt person ever to run for President…she learned well from Mr Obama who neither support our Law Enforcement or our troops….they aren’t worth the salt that goes into their bread. I am sad to see all of the disrespect shown to not only Law Enforcement but our troops as well. Back in the day, if you messed up bad enough, the judge wouldn’t give you time, he would make you enlist…..perhaps we need to go back to the way they handled things back then…..enlist all the lowlife who want to fight and cause problems, they can get all the fight they want by going overseas defending our rights like our law enforcement and troops do…I am not sure why I even waste my time trying to explain anything to people like you. I was taught NEVER TO HAVE A BATTLE OF WITS WITH AN UNARMED PERSON….BUT HERE I AM, DOING JUST THAT….trying to make sense to a senseless person.

  24. dawnkinster says:

    Hugs won’t fix it. But I send them anyway.

  25. flamingdarts says:

    Reblogged this on flamingdarts and commented:
    Read it. Feel it.

  26. Beautiful, Don… but I’m sorry it had to be written. My condolences.

  27. Son of a cop says:

    Let’s just ignore the anti law enforcement comments. These people are cowards hiding behind their computer screen. It makes their day when the get a response from us.

    • Rational Thinker says:

      Son of a cop,

      Agreed! And, thank you for your service to us, all of us…even those that don’t deserve it. 😉

  28. Anonymous says:

    Respect and empathy must begin with home trading and by example. Sadly this is missing in our society 😣

  29. I just want to say thank you to All of you for Everything you do!! So, Very sorry!!!!! RIP!!

  30. Anonymous says:

    I thank you and all police officers for what you do. I have never been shown anything but respect by the police. Tomorrows rosary is for your friend who died. God bless all of you.

  31. John says:

    Prayers of peace and support for the officer’s family and prayers toward him in thanks for his sacrifice.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Out Foxtrot Standing!!!

  33. Patty Hernandez says:

    Our hearts are so saddened to hear this news. We pray for you all everyday and for my own to come home safe and sound to me and my kids. You all deserve better. From Miami Dade PD wives, we are with you in thoughts and prayers ⚫️💙⚫️

  34. R Shurden says:

    Another Police Officer is killed in the of duty. How many must die before this madness ends? My deepest sympathy to the officer’s family, friends and fellow Police Officers.

  35. Janice says:

    Thank you to all who serve and risk their lives for public safety. Prayers to the family and all those in blue, brown, or green. You are vital, and appreciated.

  36. Anonymous says:

    May God bless you and yours.

  37. I taught for 39 years. Sometimes, as I told my students, you’ve got to Disregard. The. Naysayers. In our world, just keep doing what’s right. Then, do it again. And again. And, thanks for your words of wisdom; there are many of us who do not let them fall on deaf ears.

  38. michael says:

    if you had ever had a police officer point his gun in you face and call you names and treat you like scum and threten you put a bullit in you so fast and then throw you to the ground, rough you around, put his grubby hand all over you, ask you where your drugs are, rifle through your possesions only to find nothing, give you a warning like you had done something wrong and he was doing you a favor and drive away leaving you feeling like you had been Raped. maybe you wouldnt have so much sympathy for those who treat there fellow man like this. upholding unjust laws passing out unjust punishments for the sake of bringing in money for corrupt government, serving greedy corporate bastards. maffia. thugs. gangsters with badges. pay your protection $$$ insurance right yea that it. from a humanist side, my condoleces to the family.

    • julie says:

      Wow. Yes, there are some police officers who probably shouldn’t be employed in the field. It is a very, very small percentage when you look at the whole picture.

      If you ever had bullets fly through your home in the early evening while your whole family is still very active, you would understandably be very happy to see the police arrive.

      Glad to see you also have a human side.

  39. Kizziecat says:

    God bless you and keep you safe. Thank you and all police officers who serve honorably.

  40. Don, please block certain commenters. I just unsubscribed to this post’s comments. I hope that hasn’t unsubscribed me from your future posts.

  41. julie says:

    I’ve told you this many times, or maybe I just think it so much and I don’t want to pester you with constantly telling you the same thing over and over again, but here goes. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I truly admire you, and have the utmost respect for the career you have chosen. Stay safe Don.

  42. Paula Reed says:


  43. A concerned person says:

    People aren’t angry and distrustful of the police because of high taxes, email scandals or Trump. They’re angry and distrustful because police are out there killing, seemingly with impunity, so many people who had done nothing wrong. An encounter with the police has become an inherently life threatening situation where one has to be so careful because this person you’re faced with has the right to beat you up, kill you, lie about what happened and will automatically be believed. People are angry with the system because the system in nearly every case vindicates the actions of the police and blames the victims. They’re angry because there’s a double standard in society today where only the lives of the police matter (citizens can be killed anytime that it’s deemed necessary), and that double standard is maintained by the perpetual threat of force.

    People are afraid because time and again this happens, and more and more it comes out that there’s a culture of “us versus them” in policing. And time and again, these things are all denied to even exist. Whistleblowers from within your ranks who come forward are treated as apostates.

    I’m not happy that the man talked about in this article is dead. I wish we could ALL go home every night. But until this culture of “we’re right, you’re assumed guilty until proven otherwise and we hold all the power” narrative changes then this huge shit sandwhich will continue.

    I’m sorry. I know this is supposed to be a memorial for a man who lost his life. But blaming the problem on “email scandals” and the like is just another way of again saying to the people of this country “your grievances with us are trivial, your distrust of us is therefore irrational.” It’s not about fucking email scandals. It’s about people’s lives. On BOTH sides!

  44. David says:

    Thank You Very Much to All Who Serve!!!! GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILYS!!!!

  45. I’m just new to this site, and this is the first blog I’ve read.

    Rest in peace to all those who died fighting the good fight.

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