The news broke in the middle of the night and due to my inability to fall quickly back to sleep after waking up in the day’s early hours, I found out via Twitter—one of the six cops shot when serving a drug warrant had died.
By morning all the local news outlets led with the story...it even garnered national attention, which, considering that a policeman died in the line of duty, I’m glad it did because it should. And, of course, the inevitable back story of the man who died surfaced as it always does. And, of course, the man is married with two small children…as if the story of a dead cop can’t get any worse. Of course it can...
The news will reach literally millions of people, but it will touch each person differently. Some will ignore it, not necessarily because they’re uncaring but because there are stories of senseless deaths every day in every country on the planet. Some will take interest and feel bad for all involved. Some will use the information to help buttress their own opinions that drugs should be legalized or guns should be either banned or increased due to this incident. Still others—if they had the power—would go to the hospital room where the alleged shooter recovers from his own wounds and kill him themselves.
But all these opinions and feelings and justifications don’t mean a thing to the family and friends of the Ogden police officer who died because these things can’t change the outcome. His name is Jared Francom and I don’t know him—never met him, but my dad was a cop back in the day and I barely knew him, and even thought my father didn’t die in the line of duty, maybe I can relate in some small way how those little children might feel as they grow up not being able to talk to the man they should, for their entire lives, be able to call dad.
I pray for the man’s wife and kids. I pray for his friends and his co-workers. And I pray for a society who will hopefully care about a man they’ve never met who died in the service of us all.