Cook County Deputy Richard O’Brien, father of three, passes away.  Wife: He insisted on going back to work.


CHICAGO – He refused to NOT go back to work.

That’s what Cindi, the wife of Cook County Deputy Richard O’Brien, had to say about the dedication of her husband to his job.

The 25-year veteran of the sheriff’s office lost his battle to coronavirus complications, but it wasn’t the only fight he was dealing with.

We’re told O’Brien was already battling heart problems and stage one leukemia when he came down with COVID-19.

According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, O’Brien’s death will be considered in the line of duty.  That means his family will have continuing financial support.

The deputy is being remembered by his peers as “a highly motivated and dedicated professional,” the sheriff’s office said.

O’Brien leaves behind his wife and three children.

Cindi told local media outlets the last time she spoke with her husband was right before he was put on a ventilator.

“He called and he said ‘I love you, and I promise I’ll come back to you,'” she said.

O’Brien worked in the Cook County Sheriff’s Department for more than 25 years.  His most recent assignment was in the Skokie courthouse, which is where his family believes he contracted the coronavirus.

“I actually asked him not to go to work, and he just couldn’t not,” Cindi said last week. “He’s like, ‘I can’t let leukemia win.'”

The sheriff’s office put out a statement about O’Brien on Sunday:

They said he “earned the respect of his peers and supervisors for always asking to be assigned to the frontline and for going the extra mile.”

In the meantime, we lost another officer this weekend.  This murder happened in Overland Park, Kansas.

Law Enforcement Today has learned of an officer losing his life while attempting to stop a hit and run driver.

Officer Michael Mosher
Officer Michael Mosher

The officer was Michael Mosher, who has been with the Overland Park Police Department for nearly 15 years.

The officer, who was off-duty at the time, witnessed a hit-and-run accident at 143rd Street and Antioch Road just before 6pm on Sunday and then followed the suspect vehicle while calling the incident in to other Overland Park Police.

Although he was off-duty, he was dressed in a police uniform and getting ready for his shift.

The suspect vehicle came to a stop at 123rd and Mackey Street and started shooting at the off-duty officer as he approached. The officer shot back and the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

The officer was taken to the hospital where he sadly died from his injuries.

The officer had been with the department for over 12 years. He is said to leave behind a wife and daughter, who were with him at the hospital when he died.

Overland Park Police Department has not lost an officer in the line of duty since January 1985 when Officer Deanna Rose was killed.

Department PIO Officer John Lacy told reporters:

“We’re not used to this. So we’re going to ask the city, state, country for your prayers. He was a good one we lost. A real good one.

He was a good officer. He did his job. I mean that’s what he was doing. He was going into work. He observed a hit-and-run accident. Tried calling officers to get to scene.

He did his job all the way up to the end, so I got to respect an officer like that. He was a true gentleman. He was a wonderful officer.

I’ve never lost an officer. I lost family members and things of that sort. But police family, we’re family. So it’s hard.”

So far there has been no update on the condition of the driver at the scene of the original accident. This is a developing story. Check back on Law Enforcement Today for more updates.

Law Enforcement Today also reported yesterday on sad news regarding a fallen officer out of Houston, Texas. Here it is again in case you missed it.

Police have now released the identity of the officers involved in an overnight helicopter crash that left one dead and another fighting for his life.

It happened at an apartment complex in north Houston, according to police.

Chief Art Acevedo told media outlets that Jason Knox was the tactical flight officer involved in the crash who later died at the hospital.

We’re told his father is Houston councilmember at-large Mike Knox.

Acevedo described Jason Knox as a “good man.”

“If someone would have told me, a few hours later, we would have an aircraft down,” Acevedo said. “We would lose a really good man. I would have said no way.”

Houston police are also asking the public to pray for senior police officer Chase Cormier, who was airlifted to Memorial Hermann hospital and underwent surgery Saturday morning.

He’s currently listed in critical condition.

“We are hopeful that he will survive,” Acevedo said.

Houston Police say that Cormier was sworn in as an HPD officer in July 2006, and is assigned to the Air & Marine Division.

Mayor Sylvester Turner held a news conference at the Texas Medical Center Saturday and described it as a “bad morning”.

“I ask for the city of Houston to continue to lift up both families, especially lift up the family of the police officer that has died… At the same time, lift up the entire HPD family.”

The Backstory

The aircraft went down just before 2 a.m. at the Greenspoint apartment complex, in the 17000 block of Imperial Valley near Benmar.

It reportedly involved a crime scene unit that was investigating a murder case. 

Someone captured video footage from the ground, showing the aircraft starting to spin out of control before crashing.

According to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, it was flying over a bayou where there were reports of bodies in the water when it went down.

Houston firefighters rushed out to free the two officers from the wreckage.

“They responded right before 2 a.m. and within minutes we got reports from the Houston Forensic Science Center crime scene unit that was working a murder scene at the 17000 block of Imperial Valley that our helicopter had gone down,” Acevedo said.

Firefighters “worked feverishly to extricate and cut the pilots out. They literally had to cut the pilots out of the wreckage,” Acevedo said.

Just before 6 a.m. local time, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the death of one officer and said the second who was on board is in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

“We need prayers for these officers,” Acevedo said.

We’re told the helicopter crashed into a clubhouse building at that apartment complex.

According to Acevedo, the pilot managed to avoid hitting the apartment buildings.  He said it undoubtedly would have resulted in more people being killed.

“The wreckage was pretty significant,” Acevedo said. “There were no flames involved and that’s been a blessing. And the silver lining. The other silver lining was the pilot was able to avoid the apartment buildings.”

Nobody inside the apartment complex or on the ground was hurt.

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

“They were able to avoid going into the actual apartment buildings where people were sleeping and were able to, basically, they clipped a part of the clubhouse,” Acevedo said.

It’s unclear at this point what caused the accident, but according to Acevedo, the department is going to stop any more flights until further notice.

We do know that during the investigation, at approximately 3 a.m., shots were fired nearby.  Officers arrested three people – but we’re now told it appears to be unrelated to the crash.

We’re told that the Houston Police Department will be conducting the investigation along with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Agency… and it’s being approached as a homicide investigation.

“We have lost one of our own,” Acevedo said. “We won’t leave any stone unturned as part of our investigation until the cause of this crash. We will look at it from a criminal standpoint to make sure there was no criminal activity that led to this tragic incident.”

While Houston PD flights are grounded, they’ll receive flight support from the Department of Public Safety and the Harris County Air Operations Division.

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