I don’t plan on detailing every officer killed in the line of duty here. Several non-profit websites like this one that take care of that dreadful task.
This story out of White Plains, New York does bear mention. There are far too many like it, and perhaps we can all learn from this awful tale. The story usually goes the same. An off-duty cop pulls his gun to do something worthwhile, like stop a crime in progress. Problem is, the on-duty cops are already on the way. When they arrive, they mistake the off-duty cop for a crook, and shoot a person they believe is a “man with a gun” suspect.
The lessons here are two (and neither is intended to criticize officer Ridley, who was acting in the highest regard):
First, all officers must decide what is, and what is not, worth getting into when off duty. We have no backup, no uniform, no partner, and no radio available. We also might be in a jurisdiction where the police don’t know our face.
Second, if you do get involved, put your gun down immediately when the cops get there! Many agencies across the nation have suffered this tragedy – hopefully we can prevent another catastrophe with some education and training.
Rest in peace, officer Ridley. Your service will be remebered.