Police arrest the man who they say intentionally destroyed a memorial for a fallen police sergeant

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PULASKI COUNTY, VA- A roadside memorial for Sgt. Perry Hodge, 49, who died in a two-vehicle collision in January, was intentionally destroyed by a drive-by vandal.

At the time of the fatal incident, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Sgt. Hodge was traveling along Route 11 in his 1998 Ford F150 pickup just before 4 a.m. on January 14th when then driver of a 2011 Chevrolet 1500 driving southbound crossed over the centerline and slammed into him head-on. 

Sgt. Hodge, a 15-year veteran of PCSO, died from his injuries at the scene. To honor the life of the fallen officer, a makeshift memorial comprised of flowers and flags was set up on Route 11.

According to a post on PCSO’s Facebook page, someone intentionally tore down the memorial. The post said, in part:

“Someone took it upon themselves to heartlessly destroy the roadside memorial that was set up in honor of our recently lost brother, Sgt. Perry Hodge.”

The post went on to say:

“To whoever did this, let me explain a few things to you. Perry Hodge was one of the absolute best people to every walk this planet. What he stood for while he walked among us is something that you will never understand, but that does not mean you have to try to besmirch his memory.”

PCSO added:

“Perry had a spirit of service to his fellow human beings that you and a thousand like you will never be able to extinguish and that spirit will ALWAYS live on in the men and women of Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.”

Community members took it upon themselves to restore the memorial that was ruthlessly destroyed.  Radford resident Carter Ingram paid his respects at the rebuilt memorial and had some harsh words for the person who intentionally damaged the memorial. He said:

“If you did this, I’m sorry you life is so miserable that you would even think to do something so evil. To the people that re-erected the memorial, bless you. To everyone who cares, bless you. To honor someone is the greatest thing the public can do, especially a public servant.”

The suspect, since identified as John Logan Davidson, has been charged with leaving the scene of an incident, destruction of property, and reckless driving.

After Sgt. Hodge’s fatal accident, 10-year-old Kaden Duncan had to bring himself to say goodbye to his dear friend. Kaden said:

“Me and him were very close together and I knew him for a long time, like my whole life.”

Kaden’s mom, who works for the Sheriff’s Office, answered the 911 call. Kaden said:

“My mom, she is a 911 dispatcher and she took the call. And she told me about it this morning.”

Kaden is a 5th grader at Riverlawn Elementary, where Hodge worked as a school resource officer. Those who knew him said Hodge was always smiling. Kaden said:

“He’ll miss seeing Hodge, waving at us every morning and him getting out of the car, getting me out of my car every morning.”

Pulaski County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kevin Siers wrote in a statement:

“We are currently at the school and have made additional counselors available for students and staff. Sergeant Hodge was an excellent school resource officer and his loss leaves a huge void in our schools and the Pulaski County community as a whole.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, co-workers, and everyone else who has been impacted by this tragedy.”

After Hodge’s death, PCSO released the following statement:

“Sergeant Hodge was a very dedicated public servant with over 15 years of loyal service to the citizens of Pulaski County. He was currently serving as the Sergeant over our School Resource Officers.

During his time helping watch over all our babies, Sergeant Hodge was passionate about their safety and making sure all the kids felt loved and cared for. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

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Police officers in Portland, Oregon create powerful tribute of 2020’s 301 fallen officers

January 10th, 2021

PORTLAND, OR — The Portland Police Association and Portland Police Bureau Honor Guard created a touching video tribute to 301 fallen law enforcement officers, since attendance to their memorials and funerals was not possible in 2020 (video found below).

In a press release, the Portland Police Association stated that its members, along with the Portland Police Bureau Honor Guard, “believe it a privilege and honor to attend the funerals of brothers and sisters across the nation who have died in the line of duty,” but that they were unable to personally attend any this past year.

However, that did not stop the Portland Police Association and Portland Police Bureau Honor Guard from honoring the memory of 2020’s fallen officers. While Portland’s officers could not attend any services due to COVID-19 restrictions, they instead created the “Tribute to the Fallen 2020” video.

Portland Police Bureau Commander Erica Hurley said the video is a small token of appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of the fallen officers and their families:

“The Portland Police Bureau stands with you, your agency, and your families. Those who have given their all may be gone but will never be forgotten.”

Portland Police Bureau Chaplain Steve Chadwick said:

“As we look back, we remember those who were faced with moments where they didn’t have a choice, they fought, and they lost their lives for freedom. They stood for courage, for righteousness, and for goodness.

“We remember the brothers and sisters who stood in the way of harm. We remember that they used the time given them on this earth for good. And we thank God for them.”

Portland Police Bureau Officer Stephanie Hudson, also an Honor Guard member, said she was thankful for the creation of the tribute:

“Honoring their sacrifice is a reminder that they were real people, not just the symbol of a badge — their families are left behind to carry on and find meaning in their tragedy.”

Portland Police Association President Brian Hunzeker noted that policing and law enforcement are a special calling:

“Officers love their communities, that love is evident in the fact that they continue to go out every day and serve with excellence. This year has tested our grit and resilience like never before.

“Today we look in remembrance with reverence and gratitude for those who gave their lives, and we look forward to the new year with hope as our profession continues to evolve to meet the needs of our communities.”

The video lists the names and photos of 301 fallen law enforcement officers and their end-of-watch date. The officers who gave, all represent various departments and agencies, genders, races and ages.

The video begins with the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Commander Hurley saying a few words. Bureau Chaplain Chadwick recites a prayer, and the Honor Guard then plays a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes, while a 21-gun salute is given.

Chadwick then speaks about English author J.R.R. Tolkien, who penned “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogies. He noted that while Tolkien is famous for his children’s books, many do not know that he was also a World War I veteran.

He fought on the frontlines at Somme, one of the most brutal battles of modern warfare, where three million fought and one million were either wounded or killed.

Chadwick then talks about “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” and mentions two characters – Gandalf and Frodo – who discuss the evil properties of a ring and how they are tasked to address it.

He quotes Frodo, who says:

“I wish it need not happen in my time.”

Gandalf is quoted as saying:

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Chadwick then points out that the fallen officers did not have a choice when confronted with evil. Yet, each fought courageously and lost his or her life fighting evil. The chaplain noted that they used their time in this world to bring about righteousness and goodness.

The video concludes with the somber bugle call “Taps.”

 

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Instagram shuts down Running 4 Heroes official account; the account is a kid who runs to honor fallen officers

December 20, 2020

WINTER SPRINGS, FL – During the early morning hours of Dec. 20, the 501(c)(3) non-profit Running 4 Heroes had their Instagram account shutdown for “violating” the platform’s terms of service. 

Yet, the exact violations of said terms is completely unknown – even to the non-profit organization (NPO). 

For those unfamiliar with Running 4 Heroes, the NPO centers around young Zechariah Cartledge, 12, who decided to start running a mile while hoisting the Thin Blue Line flag whenever a first responder passed away in the line of duty. 

The goal was simple for this young man – to help raise awareness of the line of duty deaths that occur in the role of a first responder. 

By all accounts, the mission and endeavors of Zechariah and the NPO are both noble and innocuous. There’s no malice that can be extracted in an effort to honor and raise awareness to those who died in the line of duty. 

Yet on Dec. 20, Running 4 Heroes shared the following post on their official Facebook page:

“Some bummer news to share with you all…

“We were made aware over the last few hours that Instagram has removed the ‘Running 4 Heroes’ Instagram page. The reason for removal was ‘for violating the terms of Instagram.’ 

“We attempted to dispute the disabling of our account, but we were told that the account was removed ‘for not following the Instagram Terms of Use’ and that they ‘are unable to restore it.’

“They went on to say that the ‘Running 4 Heroes’ Instagram account ‘can no longer be accessed or viewed.

“They never were able to provide us specifics as to what terms we violated, though they did hint at our account ‘impersonating’ someone… I continue to seek answers on why our account was removed, though it will appear to be a losing battle. 

“Our apologies to all those who followed us on the Instagram page…”

While the Instagram page is obviously no longer accessible, the nature of the posts mirrored that of what the NPO hosts on Facebook. 

So when looking at the Facebook page for Running 4 Heroes, one is treated with straight forward status updates regarding planned runs/events, the periodic video uploaded from one of Zechariah’s runs, and posts mourning the losses of first responders. 

Bear in mind, this is the epitome of non-controversial content, so it’s hard to fathom that the Instagram account was deleted due to promoting or sharing content that could be deemed as risqué, taboo or even inflammatory.

A simple skimming of R4H’s content shows that they don’t post anything that denigrates anyone or any entity, lends commentary on controversial matters – the NPO simply sticks with the mission statement and honors fallen first responders. 

Now the NPO has provided updates on the matter, albeit, none of which showcase that Instagram has restored their account, but how they’re currently navigating the situation: 

“Follow-Up to the R4H Instagram Post…

“Starting in 2021, Zechariah’s runs will be pre-recorded and uploaded to the Running 4 Heroes YouTube Channel.

“As long as we are able to, the runs will also be uploaded here on Facebook, but we want to make sure you are all provided with another option to view Zechariah’s runs in the event our tributes violate any community standards.

“Starting January 1st, runs will be uploaded shortly after they are completed, so while they may no longer be ‘live,’ they will still be available within minutes of Zechariah’s completion of each run.

“If you want to ensure that you will be able to view Zechariah’s tribute runs next year, please subscribe to ‘Running 4 Heroes’ on YouTube.
Username: Running 4 Heroes.”

While it’s promising to see R4H trying to make the best of a bad situation, it’s still befuddling as to what terms of service violation could have possibly been encroached by the NPO’s Instagram efforts. 

Instagram plays host to all sorts of pages – folks dressing promiscuously to garner attention, pages dedicated to Antifa chapters….even Pornhub has an official Instagram account. 

So, it’s plain old confusing to learn that for some unspecified reason, R4H’s original Instagram page was shut down for a violation of the company’s terms of service. 

Nonetheless, the NPO has been extremely grateful with the outpouring of support they’ve garnered in the wake of this strange occurrence – and they’ve even announced the creation of a new Instagram account:

“Since waking up, we have been completely overwhelmed with the show of support regarding the removal of the @Running4Heroes page from Instagram.

“Thank you all for showing love to our son’s mission. As has been proven time and time again, his mission is all about love and showing respect and honor to our First Responders.

“With that being said, we have added a new Instagram account for the mission. We also have other Social Media accounts (such as Parler, Mewe) and we want to provide you with those usernames so that you have an opportunity to follow us there.

“Please note, we are not on Parler and Mewe nearly as often currently. Still, please follow us over there as our usage on those pages may change. 

“Here are our usernames for all of our Social Media Platforms:

“Instagram : Running4HeroesInc
YouTube: Running 4 Heroes
Parler: Running4Heroes
Mewe: Running4Heroes
Twitter: ZRunning4Heroes.”

 

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