I would like for you to imagine that you are a young woman, about 26-27 years of age. You have been in an abusive relationship for several years and you have had all you can take. You have the courage to break the chain, and you realize it has to end. The trouble in this relationship is not your fault. But, before you can leave, you know you have to get some of your belongings, so you call your local police department and ask them to please help while you gather some things you need to get by for a few days. (Many others before you have also asked the police to do a civil standby to help keep the peace.)
Now, imagine that you are a 26 year-old police officer wearing a brand new uniform. Just seven months earlier, you passed the Police Academy as a young police woman. You are full of ambition and love for your community. You are looking forward to helping those who are in need of your assistance. You are very eager to show your training officer what you have learned in the last several months at the academy.
As the young officer is watching over the transfer of belongings, she hears a bang. It is a sound that our rookie may have only heard on the firing range. Bang, a second round fired. Now the training kicks in. Our rookie is looking for cover and at the same time trying to find the direction that the gun fire is coming from. But it is too late. Our rookie has been hit. The pain has filled her entire body. She looks around, but no one is there. Her training officer must have headed for cover. Now, she is alone and wounded. More gun shots ring out. Now other officers are on the scene, trying to get to her.
“Hold on,” they yell out to her. “Just hold on. We are coming.” More shots ring out. Five minutes pass, and then 10 minutes. Now our rookie is laying in a pool of her own blood, gasping for air. Her heart pounding. More gun fire rings out. Other officers are trying to come up with a plan to get our rookie to a safe location. Now, the local citizens are coming out of their homes to see what the gun shots are all about. This distracts the officers needed to save our rookie. They have to move the now-growing crowd out of harm’s way. Someone in the crowd yells that the police are who they need to be afraid of.
Now, 20 minutes, and more gun shots. Our young rookie is still lying in the yard. Members from the angry crowd are yelling from the perimeter as the gun fight is going on.
Some are streaming online their hatred toward the police. Thirty minutes now. Our rookie is still holding on. “Please help me,” gasping for every breath. “Help, please, Oh please!” Forty minutes. The crowd is growing larger and angrier. Now someone from the crowd yells out that they got one — referring to our young rookie. They yelled that our rookie got what she deserved. The crowd started to celebrate the fact that our young rookie had fallen. Fifty minutes, more gun fire.
Nearly an hour after being struck by a high powered rifle, 26 year-old rookie Police Officer Tara O’Sullivan is finally rescued and transported to UC Davis Medical Center. But, it was too late. Officer Sullivan’s life was cut short way too soon. Our rookie was doing her job trying to help a fellow human being change her life from an abusive one, to hopefully a peaceful one. Lying in a yard covered in her own blood, she died in a neighborhood that had no respect for human life.
Sacramento lost an angel and maybe part of it’s soul. Sacramento Police Officer End of Watch June 20, 2019, 7 p.m. Pacific time. Tara O’Sullivan, age 26 years.
God Speed, R.I.P.
This story was not all my concept. A friend from Bullock County, Georgia, had posted an article that he had read. It gave me the information I needed to tell this story.
I have put it in my own words so as to tell a story that needs to be told. My heart is full of tears. I really just do not understand where we are headed. Peace.
Loren Pool is a retired Delaware County deputy sheriff.