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Officer’s death a senseless tragedy

Terry Fleming

Terry Fleming

Once again, the Thin Blue Line has gotten thinner because of tragedy.

Late Friday afternoon, an Albany police officer, Terry L. Fleming, lost her life during the pursuit of two suspects in an armed holdup.

As Fleming and Officer Gregory Batson were chasing the suspects, who were believed to be armed and a danger to the public, their police cruisers collided. Fleming’s car slammed into a tree and burst into flames, killing her. Batson was injured as well, though thankfully his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

How this collision happened will be determined by Georgia State Patrol investigators, but the facts are that it never would have occurred had there not been an armed holdup and had the suspects not raced away, trying to elude capture.

Too often we, the public, take law enforcement officers for granted. We moan, gripe and fuss about shortcomings that we perceive in the ways they do their jobs, and rarely do we take into account the dangers and sacrifices that each of them face every day that they put on their unforms and pin on their badges.

And we forget that they, like us, are human beings with lives away from the uniforms and police cruisers, lives filled with people who love them.

For Officer Terry L. Fleming, her life was cut tragically short at the age of 36.

Fleming had been married only about six months when she died. She has been taken away from her three children and her husband. Their lives and the lives of her other family and friends have been torn by this senseless death, which has recreated a void in their lives that will never be filled.

It was a risk that Fleming willingly took every day she went to work.

“She was doing what she loved best — serving her community,” Police Chief John Proctor said Friday night. “We lost a fine person and one of our finest officers doing the job she wished to do.”

The SUV driven by the fleeing suspects wrecked, as well. They’re in jail, charged with the armed robbery and, because of Fleming’s death, felony murder. Police officials say they recovered a gun and cash from the vehicle.

It will be up to the court system to decide what happens to Kentrell Bernard Butler and Wesley Martavi Wilkerson, the two men who are facing the charges. But they are off the streets, and the people of Albany are that much safer because of it.

But we’re that much poorer, too, because of the loss of a woman who, as Chief Proctor said, was one of the Albany Police Department’s finest officers. And a family is in mourning over the loss of a beloved wife and mom.

The price of ensuring the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that we, as Americans, are promised, is not infringed upon by the criminal element is never cheap. But this is another case where the cost was excessive.

Officer Terry L. Fleming died trying to make Albany a better place. The rest of us should do what we can to make certain that her sacrifice was not in vain.

Comments

Seven 2 years, 5 months ago

“ God Spoke To Me”

When we loose a loved one to a tragedy we gain so much more. Kyle Decoteau was gunned down in Bed-ford Stuyvesant Brooklyn, New York on July 20, 2011. He was a younger brother to me, a pupil of mine from age eight until age fourteen. I tutored him in math, reading and writing. Kyle was clever, kind and loyal to any one he called a friend or his family. The emotions of those who loved him are beyond unexplainable at these trying times. I know best what they are going through having lost my younger biological brother Randy Eugene Miller. He died in Harlem New York, October 1, 1996 gunned down in cold blood. I spiraled into a rage of illogical thinking fueled by vengeance. I sought what I thought, would be justice at the time, find the killer and execute her myself. God intervened and I looked for her with friends to no avail. Depression found it’s home in me for some time but time allowed for God’s intervention in my life. Time does not heal all wounds but God does. My brother’s death made me reflect on my own life, I found a whole new appreciation for living. In time I encountered people who faced the death of loved ones just as I had faced years ago. With the number of young black men dying at alarming rates I know it’s my responsibility to give to you what has been given unto me, promoting Peace can preserve lives. Untimely tragedies can bring about a replenished respect for human life. Human nature at times we tend not to appreciate loved ones while they are with us and cherish them and the memories of them once they are gone. All of these things I have grown to understand and live my life teaching others. I utilize my two gifts from God my ability to paint telling the many stories of my walks of life thus far and my writing, which allows for me to be even more transparent. My creative abilities are driven by my understanding and acceptance to teach unity by living that example in my life. I anger at times just as every one does but I don’t take action on my bad thoughts. Prayer has opened doors for me to receive the things not what I want but what I need. My imperfect patience makes this reality a bitter pill for me to swallow at times. I live my life praying for change in others and myself every day. Mourn for a while but find your comfort in God. He has all of the answers some for which we are not yet groomed to bare. He knows the right season for which a precious fruit of closure is ripe enough for us to digest. I pray we all are blessed enough to grow and understand the things of this earth that bring us pain should be given unto God, Our Father. He has the final say so in our lives and the power to deliver us all to him whole.

“Peace, is a spiritual rest from within us, an unexplainable feeling far from our own conscious understanding that conquers the very circumstances which cause us to treat one another unkindly.”

Kurtis L. Miller Kurtismiller14@gmail.com

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