We can’t let this story go untold.
This has to be one of the most infuriating means of disrespect toward a fallen officer and father that we’ve ever come across.
In Auburn, Alabama, the final resting place of a slain police officer was vandalized this past week in the Town Creek Cemetery. This is the culmination of the disgusting anti-police rhetoric that is plaguing society today — and we’re not going to allow this story to go untold.
The disturbed gravesite of Auburn Police Officer Will Buechner was showcased by local news outlet News 3, where on Monday, January 6th, an incident report was filed regarding the vandalization. The defamation of this fallen hero’s grave was confirmed by the Auburn Police Department.
In a picture captured by News 3, you can see the fallen officer’s grave had a myriad of American flags ripped from the ground that was adorning the site. Flowers that had been left at the grave of Buechner were torn to shreds as well.
The officer’s grave hadn’t even had its headstone placed yet, and someone was apparently so triggered by the grave hosting the thin blue line flag that they felt the need to desecrate it.
On May 19th of 2019, Officer Buechner was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance in a mobile home park in the 3000 block of Wire Road.
The 16-year veteran of the Auburn Police Department was met by gunfire allegedly from the hands of Grady Wayne Wilkes at the scene of the disturbance. The suspect also opened fire at other arriving officers, striking APD Officers Webb Sistrunk and Evan Elliot along with Buechner.
The other injured officers survived.
Following the death of the officer, Alabama legislators renamed the law regarding the murder of a first responder to the “William Buechner Act” to pay homage to Officer Buechner. Chief of Police Paul Register described the impact of losing Officer Buechner, as the department had never had an officer killed in the line of duty for the 31 years he’d been with the force:
“It will be difficult for our entire community. As the mayor mentioned, this is not the kind of thing we’re used to have happening here. But we’re not immune to things that can happen. This will be difficult for us.”
Chief Register’s statement continued after breaking the news of the fallen officer:
“This is probably the worst day of my time here. Words cannot express the loss of this family, and our family, and this community.”
The loss was more than just to the community, as Officer Buechner left behind his wife and two children with his passing.
Wayne Wilkes, who was charged with capital murder regarding the slaying of the officer, also faces three counts of attempted murder of APD Officers Sistrunk and Elliot and a third officer who was fired upon, but not struck.
What makes the actions taken against Buechner’s grave all the more disgusting was that it took place during the same week where law enforcement officers are honored during National Law Enforcement Officer Appreciation Day. Just three days before we’re reminded of the heroes who protect our streets and school, someone wanted to tarnish a police officer’s grave.
Whoever would do something of this magnitude, to disturb the site where friends and family would visit to remember their loved one’s sacrifice, is nothing short of abhorrent. It’s a blatant display of hate toward those who serve and protect us every day, and a cowardly act by someone who could never measure up to type of men and women serving in law enforcement.
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You’ve heard the insults flung by the type of people who likely committed this act, calling people that support police “bootlickers” and “fascists”.
Those very same people will need an officer to come to their aid one day, and the reason I support police is that they’ll provide assistance to those that vilify them every chance they can. They’re selfless, and the embodiment of what we all would aspire to be.
And the effects of the anti-police sentiment is taking a toll on the lives of cops too. Who the hell wants to be hated just for the uniform they put on for work?
January 9th was Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Many people took time to celebrate and thank the men and women, past and present, that serve (or have served) their communities. Some bought them a cup of coffee or sent them a card. Many sent a text to say, “Thanks.”
And then there is Adobe, the PDF and photoshop software giant.
In an effort to pedal their products Behance and Photoshop, Adobe sent out an email blast asking recipients to open up their creativity in a way that would “blow their minds”.
It was forwarded to us by a wounded police officer who had to medically retire because of the extent of his injuries.
In what can only be described as a disgusting display of anti-cop sentiment, the photos that accompanied the email were of a man with a badge and a gun. As you scroll through the photos, the cop goes from pointing the gun at someone off screen to turning the gun on himself and putting the barrel in his own mouth.
I will wait while you re-read that to make sure you read it correctly.
Now that you are as angry as I am, let’s dive a little deeper. Not only do the photos depict the man putting the gun in his mouth, it shows two different views with the gun at different angles, but in one, he actually has his finger on the trigger.
If it was unintentional, it is still disgusting and should have never been sent.
If it was intentional, that goes beyond disturbing.
We are just coming off a year that saw law enforcement community suicides increase 32% over 2018. There were 228 reported suicides by cops in 2019. The numbers have increased each of the last 3 years. Those numbers are completely unacceptable, and we, as a nation, must do better to support or law enforcement officers.
As larger groups (corporations) in society, we certainly must do better.
Under no circumstances should we be encouraging or portraying suicide for anyone, especially cops. There is never a day that anyone should use a suicidal officer as an advertising gimmick, least of all on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Adobe and their marketing department owes a profound and sincere apology to the members of the law enforcement community. Common sense should dictate what a horrible idea it was to use those particular images in their campaign.
But as big of an issue as the photos were, police suicide is even greater.