As a general rule I am not a big fan of law enforcement. I find them, as a rule, to be hypocrites more likely to break the law than enforce it, willing to break rules to get their way in prosecuting people, some of whom deserve it, others who do not.
Generally when I hear of an officer injured in the line of duty, my natural reaction is "another criminal off the streets. Excellent."
Today I hear about a shooting in Ranier, Oregon, in which a police officer was shot. Now, there are exactly one police officers I personally know and that one works in Ranier.
And I was worried.
I worked with his dad for years at a lumberyard. I considered his brother a friend and had a very interesting trip trying to help him by taking him to the VA hospital to try and get clean from drugs...
A trip in which I stood between Manuel and the woman he was convinced was aiming rays at him through the car seat because I was not going to allow this slender guy to harm this woman...and later that night he bent two steel security doors. I am fortunate he did not go through me to get at her.
The point being, I have a history with this family. There is one officer I respect as a human being and as an officer.
He has the same name as his Dad, Ralph Painter.
It saddens me that my initial, foundless fears were proved true. Ralph was the man shot and killed.
I have not talked to Ralph for several years. But I would still consider him a friend. I am saddened by his senseless death. I agree wholeheartedly with the comments of Mayor Cole.
When you discuss good men, men who are thoughtful, compassionate, willing to help others, Ralph is...was...certainly one who came to mind.
I grieve for his loved ones.
The fascinating thing...again, I have not spoken to Ralph for probably ten years but I still find sadness in the way he passed.
Vengeance is not for me and it is not for me to wish ill on another person...but I cannot help thinking it would not be the worst event in history if his murderer were to catch an infection that lingered for months, causing him untold agony before he dies.
Which means, the way this world often works, he will experience little pain, a slick lawyer will get him out of jail time and he will win some ridiculous lawsuit against Ranier.
Whatever happens, the world is a little worse today for losing Ralph Painter Jr.
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