Officer Down 19 Nov 2018

As I write this, there’s a wife waking up without her husband next to her. There are three kids wiping the sleep out of their eyes wishing it was all a horrible dream but quickly realizing their daddy will never walk through their door again.

Ofc. Samuel Jimenez with the Chicago Police Department responded to an Officer Needs Help call of Shots Fired at Mercy Hospital. He was a backup unit going to to help his fellow officers neutralize a gunman who had already claimed two lives. Ofc. Jimenez was shot and killed running towards gunfire in an attempt to protect others he didn’t know.

Ofc. Jimenez is survived by his wife and three kids. He and his wife Crystal had met in high school and had been together for 12 years. Now, Crystal must go forth and raise her kids as a widow because of a man, who will remain nameless, who couldn’t take rejection and decided to open fire on his ex-fiancée, Dr. Tamara O’Neil, at police, and at a pharmaceutical assistant, Dayna Less.

Unfortunately, what’s been done cannot be undone. And despite the immense sadness at the loss of a doctor, a young pharmacist, and a police officer, there was something awesome that showed that day.

We saw the entire City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Fire Department, and the citizens of Chicago come together to mourn the loss of a hero. From the nonstop news coverage, the outpour of the first responders and people lining the streets, and the collective Chicago Police family saying goodbye to one of its own too soon. Blue lights and uniformed officers lined the procession path as the Ofc. Jimenez was escorted from University of Chicago Hospital to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s. Officers who had known Ofc. Jimenez as well as many who didn’t showed their support and sadness to their lost brother. Chicago Police lost one of their own and another was shot but, by the Grace of God, unharmed. The city was shook as was the Fraternal Order.

Seeing the number of officers and citizens come out to watch Ofc. Jimenez as he was escorted to the Medical Examiner’s office was astonishing. It showed the bond between officers as well as the bond with the community, even when other issues may separate the two. Despite recent events and the current climate, the Chicago Police family still remains one of the closest families to this day. Growing up as a member of this family, I got to see how close it really was. Whenever an officer was down, our house grew somber. We were always glued to the TV awaiting updates, hoping the officer was okay. I grew up dreading the call that Crystal Jimenez and her children received. I had nightmares of attending one of my parents’ police funerals. Hearing the bagpipes play can be beautiful, unless they’re playing Amazing Grace, in which case it’s one of the most dreaded things to hear.

I grew up surrounded by cops. Almost all were good people simply looking to make the city a better place and have some fun in the process. Friends of my parents who worked our beat would stop by the house and say hi, letting us play with the lights and sirens as kids. They were there to protect the community and were happy to do so. Back then, everyone loved the police. Nowadays, police aren’t as excited to interact with the community because they feel hated, despised, and betrayed by the communities they protect. And while in some areas that may be true, 19 Nov 2018 showed that when an officer falls, the community loses one of their own as well.

Watching the news of the shooting, just as the announcement was made that Ofc. Jimenez had succumbed to his wounds, I saw two officers exiting the hospital. One wrapped his arm around the shoulder of another while he wept into his hat, attempting to mask his tears from the camera. I saw it as the most emotional part of this entire ordeal. To see a grown man, a strong protector, weep at the knowledge that one of his brothers was killed in the line of duty. It hits home. It makes you remember just how dangerous the job is.

The next morning, on 20 Nov 2018, another Chicago Police Officer was shot on a traffic stop in the Gresham neighborhood. Luckily, his vest stopped the bullet and the offender was neutralized. Another reminder to stay sharp.

Ofc. Jimenez died after he ran towards the gunfire. He died attempting to prevent the same thing from happening to others. Ofc. Jimenez died like a hero going home. We will always remember him, we will cherish his sacrifice, we will celebrate his life, and we can only hope there are more men and women out there like him.

Rest In Peace, Officer Jimenez.

End of Watch: 19 November 2018

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