Our officers are under attack. There’s no denying it.
And yet, how is it that in 2019, we can lose five members of law enforcement in the line of duty in less than a week and it barely makes headlines?
How is it that we’re so divided between who supports police and who doesn’t that five heroes ripped from their families just two weeks before Christmas isn’t considered “newsworthy”?
We’re sick of it. Help us honor these brave men and women who gave their lives as part of something greater than themselves.
The two most recent line of duty deaths came on December 10.
Detective Joseph Seals – End of Watch: December 10, 2019
Detective Joseph Seals was killed when confronting armed suspects shot and killed him in a New Jersey cemetery. Seals encountered the two subjects, a man and woman, in a van that was linked to a murder investigation in Bayonne.
According to reports from ODMP, the detective was shot in the back of the head. The two armed suspects then reportedly fled the scene in the stolen vehicle and took cover in a kosher grocery store in Jersey City.
During the standoff, the armed suspects allegedly murdered multiple victims inside the establishment and fired rounds at officers who were responding to the scene. The shootout was described as sounding like a “war zone” in the major city.
Two additional officers were wounded during the standoff. After some time, police stormed the store and eliminated the armed suspects inside.
Seals was 40-years-old and had been serving in law enforcement for nearly two decades.
He is survived by his wife and five children.
Sergeant Kaila Sullivan – End of Watch: December 10, 2019
Sgt. Sullivan was tragically killed on Tuesday after a wanted suspect trying to evade police fled the scene of a traffic stop, hitting Sullivan with his car as he sped off.
Officers in Nassau Bay, Texas made a traffic stop in the parking lot an apartment complex at 2002 San Sebastian Court around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
According to police, the driver was wanted on a warrant out of Harris County for assault on a family member.
When officers tried to arrest the person, he fought with them and was able to escape and get back into his vehicle.
He sped off, hitting Sgt. Kaila Sullivan with the vehicle. EMS rushed to the scene and attempted CPR on her – but she passed away at HCA Houston Clear Lake Hospital shortly after.
Police said the driver was found a short distance from the original traffic stop.
Webster Police Department and Harris County Sheriff Office are assisting with the investigation while the agency mourns the loss of their officer.
Sgt. Sullivan was only forty-three years old and lived in Friendswood, Texas.
December 27th would have marked her 16th anniversary with the City of Nassau Bay Police Department.
Sergeant Christopher Brewster – End of Watch : December 7, 2019
Sergeant Christopher Brewster was murdered Saturday evening by a man who had been reported for assault, according to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Police officials the 32-year-old officer was shot just before 6 p.m. on December 7.
At the press briefing, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters that a call came in from a female victim who reported that her boyfriend was assaulting her and was armed with two firearms.
When police got there, they didn’t find the couple.
Acevedo said Brewster spotted them three streets away on Houston’s east side. When he went to exit his vehicle, he was shot at and hit multiple times.
Acevedo said even though Brewster was fatally wounded, he called and reported the shooting, allowing other officers to contain the area.
“Although he was mortally wounded, he had the presence of mind to draw his pistol out of his holster to protect himself in case the suspect came up and he also had the presence of mind and courage to put out and broadcast suspect information that was critical for the responding units,” Acevedo said.
About a half-hour after the shooting, which was captured on body cameras, Brewster succumbed to his injuries and died.
At first, Acevedo said Brewster wasn’t wearing his vest. He later confirmed that the officer was.
Officers rushing to the area saw him jumping fences. When he was caught near a school, they say he was armed with a semi-automatic pistol.
Acevedo later tweeted that police recovered both firearms and other evidence discarded by the suspect. On Sunday, he was charged with capital murder and is behind held without bond.
Sergeant Brewster was 32-years-old and had served with the Houston force for nine years. He is survived by his wife, parents, and three sisters.
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Officer Stephen Carr – End of Watch: December 7, 2019
On Saturday, we also lost an officer from Fayetteville, Arkansas.
That night, officers reported hearing gunshots behind the Fayetteville Police Department.
Police from inside the department responded immediately and heard additional gunshots. When they got into the back lot, they found an armed suspect directly behind the police department.
hat suspect was later identified as London T. Phillips, 35, of Fayetteville.
Police said Phillips and the officers fired their weapons at each other, striking the suspect repeatedly.
Moments later, officers located Officer Stephen Carr shot inside his patrol vehicle.
Just three minutes later, Fayetteville Fire Department and Central EMS arrived on scene and began life-saving efforts for both the officer and suspect. Police said both the wounded officer and suspect succumbed to their injuries and died at the scene.
Police say that the evidence shows that Officer Carr was ambushed and executed while sitting in his patrol vehicle.
Agent Billy Fred Clardy III – End of Watch: December 6, 2019
On Friday December 6, America lost a U.S. Army veteran and a tremendous police officer from Huntsville, Alabama.
Billy Fred Clardy III, a husband and father of five, was shot and killed in the line of duty. He was only 48-years-old.
According to police, the shooting happened during a drug task force operation around 4 p.m. Friday near the corner of Oakwood Avenue and Levert Street Northeast.
Police said Brown drew a gun and shot Clardy. Clardy was wearing a bulletproof vest, but the bullet went through the top of the vest and into the officer’s heart.
They spent more than an hour trying to save his life at Huntsville Hospital, but were unable to.
On Saturday afternoon, Huntsville police Chief Mark McMurray publicly announced the officer’s name at the Fallen Officer Memorial outside the police department’s headquarters.
Clardy became a Huntsville police officer in 2005, then joined the Madison-Morgan County HIDTA Drug Task Force, known as the STAC team, in 2018.
Prior to that, he worked for the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office and the Fayetteville Police Department in Tennessee and was also was a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army.
According to McMurray, Clardy had received dozens of awards during his time at HPD, including 19 certificates of commendation, two outstanding unit citations and eight letters of appreciation.
During his 14 years at the department, he had been a patrolman, community resource officer and training officer among his other assignments.
During his time in the military, Clardy received the National Defense Medal, Army Service Medal and Overseas Service Ribbon.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle described Clardy as a dedicated community advocate who cared deeply for the local homeless population.
In speaking about him, he called him a “good friend” and “special gift” to the city.
With these heroes being taken from their families, friends and co-workers just days before the holidays, we have a message for the media who glanced right over their deaths: their lives mattered.
Help us pay tribute to these fallen heroes… and say a prayer for our country.