Friday, September 27, 2013

The Saddest Good-bye

The men above are members of the Speedway Fire Department. 
They are standing to salute the passing funeral cortege of
Officer Rod Bradway, a member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan 
Police Department, who was killed in the line of duty 
on Friday, September 20.
Officers from all over the country came to pay their respects
to a fallen comrade, some to attend the ceremony,
others to stand in for local police so that they could 
attend the services. There were at least a thousand cars,
preceded by an equal number of motorcycle units.

The procession was scheduled to leave the downtown area
at around 1 p.m., then travel across town to pass by
Officer Bradway's westside station and at the Wayne Township 
fire station where he had been a firefighter 
and EMT before joining the IMPD.

People began to line Lynhurst Drive not long after
the funeral services were complete, bringing with them flags
and signs to show their support for the man and his family.

The men shown below are practicing their role,
saluting the cortege as it passes Speedway Fire Station
Number 2 on Lynhurst Drive. In addition to their
participation, the men were on regular duty;
during the time the procession was passing, they actually
went on two separate runs. Others in their unit
quietly and efficiently stepped in to take their posts
while they were away.

The sad reason for this funeral, this procession, was because
Officer Bradway answered a call reporting domestic
violence at a westside apartment complex. Not long after his arrival
at the woman's home, he called for back-up. The woman's
screams of terror increased and the policeman
entered, only to be met by the assailant, who shot him
from the side, where his protective vest did not cover.
The second officer, who'd just arrived, entered right behind,
trading shots with the assailant, shooting and killing him.
But Officer Bradway was dead, having put the lives of a young
woman and her ten-month old baby ahead of his own.

Of all the calls police get, ones involving domestic abuse
are the runs they most dread. They are situations fraught with
volatile emotions, raging hormones and tempers - and, very often
guns or other weapons. The situations are always changing,
dangerous for everyone involved.
As a woman, I want to know what it is about men and their
need to control women? We fight sexual discrimination every day
in the workplace, the media, and in our relationships because men
assume they are entitled to control us and every aspect
of our lives. Why do they also feel the need to beat us, to threaten
us, to demean us, - all the while calling it love?

Because of this a good man has died, leaving a bereaved
woman and two teen-aged children. Another woman and her child
live, but with life-long emotional trauma. Yet another family,
that of the killer, live with the eternal shame of having 
a son and brother who made bad decisions; recently released
from prison, the killer was not supposed to have weapons,
but, of course, he did. It's entirely possible there may not be enough
money to pay for his burial.
It's an ugly story, too often repeated, one for which there
does not seem to be a good ending - just losses and
unhappiness for everyone concerned.

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