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. So sorry to hear this news, Don.

  2. Meredith says:

    I am sorry for everyone’s loss. Stay safe.

  3. Sherry Nickum says:

    I am so so sorry for your and all of our losses. Stay safe

  4. Just a Mom says:

    Respect is so missing from our society. You can feel hostility in the air everywhere and not just towards police officers. I’m sad for those who no longer see others as people who have loved ones, families to support and dreams of a better day for their children.

  5. Tina Dell says:

    I received a call from my husband before it was made public. Even though he’s retired he is devastated by the danger his fellow officers face every. single. day. May the Lord watch over all of you, protect you, and keep you alert. May the family of the fallen feel God’s comfort and peace.

  6. Jude says:

    I can’t imagine the pain the family and friends feel of the young officer that died today. I can’t imagine how the family of any officer feels when they hear of an officer downed. And I can’t imagine the relief and guilt when the family finds out their husband/wife comes home that night. God Bless all of the officers and front line responders who continue day after day despite the obstacles, grueling hours and conditions they are faced with daily. It takes a very special person to do this job, and someone like you is extra special to teach the new recruits to do this job the right way with dignity, empathy and pride. May God Bless the young officer that gave his life to answer the call of someone in need.

  7. I’m so sorry DOAT. You have such a wonderful way of conveying what those in your profession face and you’re always the first person I think about when I hear of anything police related. I’m so sorry for your loss. XOXO

  8. jgroeber says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, for your community’s loss. I wish between protesters and police officers there could be a line of people, just regular people, silent, arm in arm of every color and both genders, all ages, to remind everyone that this is what we share in common. Our humanity.

  9. corley598 says:

    My heart is breaking AGAIN!!!

  10. CARMAN MORICE says:

    Donnie, my heart goes out to you and all your fellow officers across our country. I think of you often, very often during these trying times. I pray for you all. And I pray for your families. May God keep and comfort you all!

  11. Delores powers says:

    We need to say thank,u,to you,guys,in,blue i,support u

  12. Anonymous says:

    God bless you! I can’t imagine what it feels like to be in your shoes. This world is an angry place and cops are not appreciated enough for their service. Be safe and thank you!

  13. Stephanie says:

    BLM has rallied to support dead criminals. It’s time for us to rally and support our officers. They put their lives on the line everyday to protect us and it’s time for us to start protecting them.

    • Dennis says:

      Dead criminals
      .your an idiot

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said, Stephanie. How about concealed-carry ride-alongs to get their backs? If they’re hesitant to draw down on a low-life because of the possible job loss or stress for themselves and family because of it….there’s hundreds of thousands…or more…of us who would have no hesitation protecting the officer and gladly doing our duty, and already possess both the arms and the training to step up.

  14. Zach says:

    That cop was married into a family that was a dear friend of mine. I don’t even know the details of the shooting, but I’m livid as hell.

  15. Keith says:

    Very well said. I am not in Law Enforcement but I grew up in it and it runs deep in my blood. My father worked for the STLMPD for almost 30 years as a civilian employee in Radio Repair. If it wasn’t for the Police Department being one big family and taking care of their own and their families I might not have made it through losing my father over 13 years ago. It saddens me and I get a little choked up every time I hear an officer’s life was lost in the line of duty. I use to work for QuikTrip all over the Saint Louis Metro Area and have met and befriended many officers from different departments. I cherished every meeting. I met the fallen officer from today at the last store I worked at and it saddens me dearly that he won’t be going home to his young family tonight. In closing I wanted to thank you and your fellow brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement for all that you do, the personal sacrifices you make and the risks you take each and every day. On a daily basis I will continue to say a prayer in hopes that it will help everyone in law enforcement make it home each day to kiss and hug their families. Thank you again and be careful out there.

  16. Anonymous says:

    As a society we are losing touch with all that is or was once held sacred. My condolences to everyone who knew this young man, albeit a friend, or a relative or a co-worker. If everyone were to just stop for a moment and realize the magnitude of what happened this morning, maybe, just maybe the world would get a grip and treat the most precious thing we have with a little more respect…

  17. Colleen Parker says:

    Thank you for what you so eloquently stated. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for choosing a , once, revered profession. Thank you for working with recruits to ensure they are armed with knowledge and, more importantly, the faith that they can perform their duties, make a difference, and then make it home safe. The National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC is beautiful, and heartbreaking. My big brother’s is among the, far too many, names. It’s a simple and sincere sentiment that I have said to my Dad, my brother, a husband, an uncle, countless friends, and any LEO that I come across: Be careful, and be safe.

  18. BB says:

    Reblogged this on The Migraine Chronicles and commented:
    That cop who died today …

  19. Anonymous says:


  20. Angela Follen says:

    Beautiful tribute to all who wear the uniform of law enforcement. Peace, comfort and God’s protection be with you and your brother & sisters in blue.

  21. Anonymous says:

    So sorry! This mute all stop! Im 74 and never have seen St Louis this bad! The crime must stop! I am very sorry for his family.

  22. Aaronson family says:

    Praying for all police every day. We appreciate you.

  23. Teresa Melton says:

    My heart is too breaking, and my thoughts go out to his family and all of you. Stay safe.

  24. Mandi says:

    Your words are compelling as always, Don, and as I often comment here, I don’t know how you do it. But I am grateful you do. And that I have your perspective to lean on when I’m often ignorant or swayed by passion.

  25. Society has changed. There is no respect for others life by the hateful self centered criminal. My ❤ aches for the family of the officer. I worry how the world will treat my 2 year old grandson. May God help all of us.

  26. Concerned says:

    May God Bless All of You.

  27. Rebecca Gaskins says:

    So sorry for your loss, I’m sorry for all of us,we are losing good men.🙁

  28. Belinda says:

    I don’t know why anyone would want to be a police officer these days, but I’m so appreciative of those that continue to do the job. Thank you for your service.

  29. So, so sorry, Don, for the loss of your comrade but also for the all the crap you put up with. Know that there are many of us citizens who admire and respect and truly appreciate all that you do.

  30. Mary nolen says:

    You made my heart hurt a little less.

  31. Anonymous says:

    My neighbor is blaming right to carry. She just does not get it.

  32. Anonymous says:


  33. Mike Corrigan says:

    Thank YOU for what you do. I know it feels like a thankless job sometimes,
    But you can stand tall and proud for
    what you do.

  34. mazza78 says:

    Thank you for your for your service and our thoughts and prayers are with you and your brothers and sisters in blue it God bless youball

  35. Pam Lanter says:


  36. You’re an important voice, Don … I hope you realize that. Thanks for all you do.

  37. Kathy J says:

    I personally thank you and all cops for the jobs they do and for all they have to put up with. I couldn’t do it. So THANK YOU!

  38. Pat Chilcutt says:

    No words will make this death easy! I am sorry what his wife, family and all you fellow officer have to go through. I hope with prayers and time everyone will be able to continue to live. I am sorry for the deep hurt!

  39. Kimberly Winschel (smith) says:

    My heart goes out to this family as u know our’s has been in same kind of loss in past few years, prayers go out to them all.

  40. Sgt. William Goodman says:

    Brother y’all need your back watches say the word and I’ll bring whoever I can all the way from Virginia..:. I’ve been there…. unfortunately it seems like we’ve all been there. The line will be held while you and your brothers and sisters mourn. God bless you and all those like you.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Hey u really want change people then change yourself start with u then you’ll have a clear perspective to his baby other people out there won’t do that they’ll just scream point fingers snd ddnanx you change !

  42. Thank you for allowing us to share your blog and your heart on our page.

  43. elizabeth Augustyn says:

    Well said, but heartbreaking.

  44. Marilyn says:

    How many of those that are doing the spitting on LEO’s ask for help during the weather emergency and go back to spitting on when they don’t need them for help? I am in such an agreement I am tired of all this hate and families being destroyed. I cry each day for them all. My husband did 25 years and I also worked as a civilian. They are all dear to my heart.

  45. SB says:

    Very well written! Among all the vulgarities, insinuations, blaming, and idiocy…..there are people who respect, love, and are extremely thankful for our public servants; especially our peace officers. If you are an officer or military person; please know that we do appreciate what you do. I think and pray often for you. Your efforts and selfless exposure to dangerous situations for people you don’t know, they are not unnoticed!
    Thank you and peace to you and your families during these ridiculous times!

  46. Anonymous says:

    I pray for all offices and thank the lord that there are people that want to do a job that you put your life on the line every day in this crazy time we live in for very little money thank you so much you guys are true heroes

  47. so sorry for your loss your is my loss to. i stand beside you. now and always will. your lives matter more than you get credit for sometimes. the ones that call you them horrible names are the first to call you when they need help. and you don’t chose who you go help you just go help them. no words can ease the pain of the loss. so all i can do is send my prayers and hope that he is at peace. and let you know your not alone. their are alot of us that stand with you.

  48. Anonymous says:


  49. Just know, there are those who do respect l.e. and those of us who feel the pain, it may not hit us quite as hard, but we do. I want to say personally that i thank l.e. officers gor everything they do, you do. I couldnt do it. Sometimes a simple thank you is in order. And i am saddened by this loss for the force. Whether its city or county. My sympathy to the entire st louis police force.

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