Blue lives matter bill puts things in perspective

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Yesterday this country lost a true hero.

A man went to work and never came home.

And now somewhere a family grieves. A wife is now a widow. Three children no longer have a father.

But there are no protests. There is no national media coverage and there is no national outrage — because Ronald Tarentino Jr. was a cop.

Officer Down

His death is summed up in a few brief paragraphs on the Officer Down Memorial Page website. Here’s what happened. Tarentino, an officer with the Auburn Police Department in Massachusetts for two years, made a traffic stop shortly after midnight. As he approached the vehicle, someone inside (allegedly) pulled a gun and killed him in cold blood.

“The subject who shot him fled the scene, but was later located at an Oxford apartment building,” the synopsis on the ODMP website says. “As officers searched the apartment he was believed to have been hiding in they discovered a secret passage into an adjoining apartment. When the officers made entry into the second apartment the subject exited a closet and opened fire, wounding one Massachusetts State Police tactical team trooper before being killed.”

Tarentino — who had previously served on the Leicester Police Department — was just 42.

Grim Statistics

Tarentino was the second law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in Massachusetts this year. In all, 38 American police officers have died in the line of duty so far this year. Of those, 19, including Tarentino, died after being shot. The number of officers killed by gunfire so far this year represents a 46 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2015.

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Danville, Ohio Police Officer Thomas Cottrell — the first officer killed in the line of duty this year — was also the first to die after being shot. According to information on the ODMP website, the person who surprised him behind a local building was targeting police officers.

“At approximately 11:20 pm (January 17) dispatchers received a call from a female subject stating that police officers in Danville were in danger,” according to the synopsis on odmp.org. “She stated her ex-boyfriend was armed and intended to kill a police officer.”

When Cottrell did not respond to radio transmissions, law enforcement personnel organized and initiated a coordinated search. Searchers found Cottrell’s body a short while later and an ensuing manhunt resulted in the apprehension of the alleged perpetrator.

At just 34, Cottrell worked in law enforcement for more than a decade. He his survived by his parents, stepmother, several siblings and three children.

The Blue Lives Matter Bill

According to various media accounts, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards could soon sign a bill that would make attacking a police officer, firefighter or paramedic in that state a hate crime.

Apparently this doesn’t sit well with a lot of people — most of whom probably have no problem admitting they hate cops.

Personally, I think it’s great. Because as far as I’m concerned, all lives matter.

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