I Can’t Handle the Truth

“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You?” (Col. Nathan Jessup in Aaron Sorkin’s “A Few Good Men”)

Not me.  Not by the longest shot.

Last night, David Scott Crawford was doing his job, patrolling the streets of my city. Somebody reported a prowler in their home. Officer Crawford and his partner investigated, and a 16 year-old piece of absolute shit shot him in the chest at point-blank range.

This came four weeks after another piece of absolute shit killed two police officers and seriously injured a U.S. Marshall here in my city.

These officers knew what they were risking. Law enforcement is a dangerous job, far moreso than, say, any job my wuss ass would ever hold.  They get paid a decent salary and have good benefits. But every day they report for duty, there’s a chance some piece of absolute shit could shoot them. 

The kid arrested for killing Officer Crawford last night just turned 16. He can’t legally see an R-rated film, but he fucked up so badly last night that he’ll never take another step as a free human.

One of the local news stations reported that he “showed remorse,” and that “his parents have been cooperative.” To me, this sounds like a case where he’ll plead guilty in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

Sixteen years old. Life without parole. He could live 80 years in prison for being stupid for one moment.

Oh, this piece of shit was stupid before then. It wasn’t just one moment. He was carrying a loaded gun while invading somebody’s home. Great goshamighty, it’s not like he was walking home from church choir practice or a National Honor Society meeting.  He already had a criminal record, “mostly for property crimes.”

Oh! Well that’s okay, then!

I was talking with my friend Amy, and I mentioned that you don’t see a lot of cop-killers standing trial.  She asked why, and I explained that cops often end up killing cop killers.  Not necessarily that they are gunned down to avenge for having murdered a law enforcement officer, but that once you’ve killed a cop, you don’t usually come quietly.

I used the example of when a piece of absolute shit killed a Polk County Sherrif’s Deputy and his K-9 dog.  (Polk County is maybe 30 miles from here) This guy shot the dog first, then shot the deputy six times. The deputy was immobilized. The piece of absolute shit went up and shot him twice in the head.

When the Polk County Sherrif’s Office SWAT Team found the piece of shit, said piece of shit raised a hand with a gun in it.

Of the 110 bullets they fired, 68 hit the piece of shit. When asked why his officers shot the piece of shit 68 times, Sherrif Grady Judd said, “That’s all the bullets we had.” http://www.snopes.com/crime/cops/judd.asp

I’m not a big fan of the death penalty. I think it’s unconscionable that the state kills someone innocent, and there’s always that chance, so I’m against it.

But when some piece of absolute shit kills one of the people who have the guts to be “on that wall” protecting me? I confess that I have a difficult time mourning the dead murderer. 

The sad truth in the Polk County case, my first thought was, “Why did those other 42 bullets miss?”

As sad as it is that a 16 year-old kid will be in jail for the rest of his life, sadder still is that a wife is widowed, that a 24 year-old daughter will never see her daddy again, and that two little kids lost their grandpa.  It’s sad that a community that just went through this last month is facing it again.

And that the TV news will once again show the solemn graveside service, as the dispatcher’s voice calls out the dead officer’s badge number, then says he’s “ten-seven for the duration.”

10-7. Out of service.

It’s a sad day in my town.  Again. 


11 Responses to “I Can’t Handle the Truth”

  1. Moving and so sad, Tom. And well written. Painfully, heartbreakingly, beautifully well written.

    Good work.

    • Thank you, L. I much prefer writing my usual dumb, “funny” stuff.

      I had a doctor appointment Tuesday afternoon, before the police had arrested this kid. The police had basically shut down a big rectangle in my city. My doc’s office is four blocks north and six blocks west of that rectangle. I kept my eyes open. As if the kid would be walking along Central Ave on a gorgeous sunny afternoon, or maybe he’d be lurking in the dark catacombs of my fave bookstore.

      Plus, Android doesn’t have a good “armed murderer apprehension” app, so i’d either have had to disarm and subdue this armed person physically (I couldn’t subdue anyone–my only hope would be to fall on him when I fainted) or run him over with my truck. In retrospect, I’m glad it turned out like it did, with no more bloodshed. (Especially mine)

      Thanks again, L.

    • Thank you elle.

  2. Heartbreaking.
    Such a fucking waste. In all ways.

  3. Awful. Truly awful. But hey, don’t anyone dare think about limiting 2nd Amendment “liberties”.

  4. I can’t handle the truth either.

  5. [this is righteous]

    I used to volunteer with the PD here. After I left, one of our guys got shot by a similar piece of shit (a little older, so with more of a rap sheet, plus a domestic abuser). He barely survived but won’t ever work as a cop again, and was expected to die the first couple of days. It’s heartbreaking to hear of this happening anywhere, but when it’s someone you used to share a microwave with, it’s even worse. Mr. LT gave blood for him, which seems only fair.

    • but when it’s someone you used to share a microwave with, it’s even worse.

      That is an amazing way to put it. My friend Cathy used to work for a local Sherrif’s office. She shared a microwave with a Deputy who was killed in a chase. She was horribly upset because of just that: she used to drink coffee from the same pot, use the same microwave, buy Frito’s from the same machine. It’s the little things.

      • The volunteer “office” I worked in was actually two desks jammed into the unit’s break room. So it was impossible to not have at least a nodding acquaintance over munchies and TV. I can see how much worse that would have been for Cathy; I was only there 3 days a month.

  6. [i has a sad] *wanders out in the desert somewhere to think*

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