Hubby is at the funeral services for Matt today. I’ve been holding back tears all morning. I feel so sorry for Matt’s family and friends as well as the law enforcement community. At the back of my mind is the little niggling thought that it could have just as easily been Hubby.
Hubby’s putting on a strong front, but I know it’s bothering him, too. He came to bed late last night, after and getting his dress uniform ready. He had listened to bagpipe music and it broke him up.
Bits and pieces of the story have come together. The suspect, Angilo Freeland, ran from a state trooper in 1999, and was later caught after a concealed weapon was found in h is truck. He jumped bail and eventually his arrest warrant was dropped. He must have thought the warrant was still active, otherwise I doubt he would’ve asked about a trip to jail and bailed when Doug pulled him over.
A lot has been made of the fact that 110 rounds were fired at the suspect, that 68 hit him. I don’t know how I feel about it. To an average person it seems excessive, overdone. But as the spouse of someone who was at risk, I’m not sure. Two bullets, 8, 68…they all would have had the same outcome. When Freeland refused to drop his gun, the officers responded as trained. He had already killed one and shot at two others. What were they supposed to do, fire off warning rounds? Wait until he emptied Matt’s gun at them then arrested him?
I’ve perused the local paper’s online forums. So many people in the community are quick to trash the police. They didn’t need to shoot so many times. Why don’t the police do as thorough a job when it’s not one of their own? Why is there such an uproar over a dead cop…he knew what he was getting into when he chose that career? The cops are just a bunch of corrupt racists.
To all these people, this is my response: Put yourself in the shoes of Matt’s widow and children. Or in the shoes of any of the other LEO’s loved ones. Did your loved one risk his life to search a heavily wooded area for his fallen friend? (The area where his friend was ambushed and brutally shot to death.) Did your loved one go to the trauma room and watch blood pour out his friend’s wounds as the doctors made futile efforts to save him?
Does your loved one regularly deal with people calling him a racist just because he’s doing his job? Does your loved one have to wonder if the next person he has contact with might be concealing a gun or knife? Does your loved make regular trips to the morgue?
Or better yet, put yourselves in the shoes of a LEO.
Hubby’s cases may not draw the manpower that this situation did, but he goes into each one wanting to solve it. The baby found in the dumpster this past May: cold case. Hubby still follows any potential leads on it. He still talks about it. He won’t rest until he’s no longer a detective or the case is solved. He investigates murders, suicides, overdoses, accidental deaths, SIDS deaths, neglect deaths…all with the same drive and desire to solve them. He deals with people who kill over drug money, people whose children die because they’d rather smoke crank then care for their kids, kids who find their grandpa with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Christmas. For someone, who can’t imagine the horrors Hubby (and other cops) witness, to claim the police don’t take civilian cases seriously is an insult.
No one deserves to be murdered. Yes, I do feel pity for Freeland. He was a person, too, although I don’t understand the choices he made. He was someone’s child, someone’s companion. But he chose to brutally kill and faced the consequences of his actions.