This open letter to Elizabeth Warren from the wife of a slain police is worth the time it will take you to read it.
Dear Elizabeth Warren:
Today is the 14th anniversary of the death of my husband Deputy Tim Graham, who sacrificed his life in the line of duty protecting his community. Today should, for my friends and family, be a day of commemorating the life of an extraordinary man. We should be poring over photo albums, retelling favorite stories and celebrating the life of a wonderful man who willingly gave his life in service to others.I am sick to death of the lies. I am sick to death of the rhetoric. I am sick to death of people, such as yourself, who are willing to push a false narrative regardless of how many times it has been debunked.
Why? Simply because you are so sullied by political ambition that you are willing to blatantly lie to the American people about an incident that was investigated by the Department of Justice of an administration that did not bother to hide it’s contempt for law enforcement, yet STILL exonerated Officer Darren Wilson of any wrongdoing, and concluded that the shooting was justified, WELL within the parameters of self-defense.
Yet your tweet yesterday showcased either your stunning level of ignorance, or your blatant willingness to misrepresent an incident, regardless of the truth, and regardless of the innocent lives of law enforcement officers and their families that it could potentially affect. Frankly, whichever is true, your recklessness and blatant disregard for the safety of some of the greatest Americans in this country is abhorrent.
Are you so blinded by your desire to reside on Pennsylvania Avenue that you are willing to pander to the American people to this degree? To unabashedly prey upon people that you know can be emotionally manipulated? Have you any shame?
You either chose to ignore the highly detailed investigative DOJ report exonerating Officer Wilson, or you have read it, and are still choosing to falsely represent its findings. Either way, I repeat, shame on you. I’ll attach it here, perhaps you might peruse it while flying across the country in your private jet to attend another event where you will, no doubt, continue to lie to another gathering of American people.
Michael Brown was not murdered. He died because of the choices he, and he alone made that day. And do you know who paid the price? Ferguson business owners. Law abiding citizens, whose lives were endangered during the violent riots. Police officers dispatched from agencies across the state.
Are you aware that Officer Wilson’s family had to go into hiding after the riots? That his life was destroyed, even though he did absolutely nothing wrong?
That he endured endless death threats to himself and his family? That he can no longer do the job he worked so hard and sacrificed so much to do?
That he feels the need to disguise himself when he goes out? That his wife had to check in under an assumed name when she went to the hospital for the birth of their daughter?
That they struggle to make ends meet, while the Brown family raked in a settlement of $1.5 million dollars, and undisclosed amounts from a book publishing deal (although the book is allegedly non-fiction, it is anything but) and countless other ventures.
Are there mistakes and hiccups you could pull out of Officer Wilson’s file and hold up to the light? Certainly. He was human.
Just like every other man or woman who puts on that star or badge every day. But in the climate today, flaws, missteps or mistakes are seemingly unacceptable for a law enforcement officer.
It doesn’t matter how much good they do on the street, how many lives they have touched, how much trauma they have endured over their career of dealing with the absolute worst that society has to offer.
Are you aware of how many messes that officers must clean up on a daily basis? How many fights they break up, how many dead bodies they have see?
How many abused children, drug addled teenagers, beaten spouses, horrific suicide aftermaths, death notifications they have made?
How many death threats they have received themselves? The hurled insults, the threats to their spouses and children of rape and murder.
The being spit upon, vomited on, urinated on. The bodily fluids that are hosed out of their patrol car and onto residential streets every night after a twelve-hour shift?
The laundry they refuse to allow to co-mingle with baby blankets and toddler onesies? Do you have any idea what it is like to watch the person you love most in this world walk through the door at night with the weight of all that upon their shoulders?
Can you even conjure up an iota of compassion for what that must be like to carry that around over a thirty-year career?
Do you have any idea of what the families of officers who responded to the riots went through in the days following the incident? I am, I’ve spoken to many, who kissed their spouses and parent goodbye on the way out the door, dread eating their insides, only able to conjure up the worst-case scenario of what their loved ones were walking into?
Do you know some of those officers went days before they had the ability to check in with their families?
Do you know the agony of having to wait for confirmation that the person you love most in the world has not been injured or killed? Of course you don’t. Because you don’t care. You don’t care about anything but the quickest path to the position that holds the most power. And that is EVERYTHING that is wrong with politicians in this country today.
I know you won’t see this. I know you won’t read it. I’m a tiny little meaningless fish in a big pond that you use to feed your ego and addiction to power and influence. But maybe other people will.
Maybe people who will actually use reason and logic to look at the case you reference, and make their decision to base their conclusion upon the actual facts of the case, rather than relying on the manipulative tactics of a presidential candidate, who clearly is willing to dispose of any integrity or honesty in order to manipulate Americans to further an agenda.
Sherry Graham-Potter is the surviving wife of Deputy Tim Graham, Pima County Sheriff’s Department, who was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle during a foot pursuit on August 10, 2005. While Sherry and her young sons struggled to make sense of their tragic loss, their local chapter of C.O.P.S. stepped in to support the grieving family. Inspired by the survivors she encountered, Sherry became a strong advocate for the role that fitness and nutrition played in her own grief process, and encourages new survivors to incorporate healthy habits into their own lives as they navigate their healing path. Today, Sherry is married to Officer/Pilot Chris Potter of the Tucson Police Department. Together they advocate for health and wellness within the law enforcement community, teaching Fitness and Nutrition to officers across the country. The couple are both avid cyclists and triathletes. (Compliments of Law Enforcement Today)