In Memory Officer Sunner

She never knew. Not until she saw it that night on television. Then it was only because his killer had died. Her savior was thirty years in his grave; that handsome young cop.

She still remembered him.

Then she was a shadow of a girl, barely a hundred pounds and eyes too shy for anyone to know the color of. The man was all tattoos and swagger, wearing a wife-beater, drunk. It’s not cliché if you invented it. That’s why you shouldn’t marry young.

Every night the man was out, or at her. Sorry in the morning. Her, bruised. You don’t know what life is, until you’ve had it nearly choked away.

The cop was new; the neighbors called. He took the girl outside, begged her to leave, handed her a number. Said she had to press charges, because that’s just how they did it back then. She stared at the crumpled number in a bleeding hand. Said it was nothing.

It was nothing for the sixth time.

The cop went inside, charged at the man, leaned into his face, “You think you’re tough?” Thunked the man’s chest with a forefinger.

That night it worked. The man took the bait, swung and went to jail with his hands cuffed behind his back.

She almost got away. But the man was back the next day, sorry. There were a few more years of almosts before she gave up. But she always remembered what he did that night: that cop; her savior.

But a savior needs someone worth saving.

It was a different night, a different fight. Domestic dispute; the same young cop provoking. That woman bleeding, that man armed with a twelve-gauge shotgun. Cop killer.

You could say it didn’t work that night, but it did. That woman got thirty years to get away.

Every savior needs someone worth saving.

 

Inspired by: http://thegazette.com/subject/news/public-safety/crime/man-convicted-of-killing-cedar-rapids-police-officer-dies-in-prison-20150105

5 Comments

  1. I really like this. The rhythm of sentences really grabs me, especially the short ones.

    She still remembered him.
    It was nothing for the sixth time.
    But a savior needs someone worth saving.
    Every savior needs someone worth saving.

    Nice work!

    1. Awwww. Really kind of you. Glad you liked it.

  2. This was fantastic. I can tell it’s something that will be in my memory for years. Truly wonderful.

    1. Very kind of you, good sir!

  3. Thanks for telling the other side. I did not like going in on those calls. Too often there just was no way to resolve it. Drugs and alcohol and anger and fear combined to project their lives upon the rest of us. Very few (back then) resulted in the victim seeking safe haven. Either that fear or doubt kept them mired in the conflict until it erupted again. And it seemed to always erupt again.

    I was promoted to detective when the law changed and the patrol officers were given the tools they needed to force a resolution. At least the combatants had a chance to sober and reflect before the prosecuter’s office decided if the charges would move into court. A chance for reason and sometimes the change that was needed.

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