“In my 45 years in law enforcement, I can’t recall another incident so cold-blooded and cowardly.” Those are the emotional words from Sheriff Ron Hickman on Friday as he spoke to the press about the execution style murder of one of his deputies, Darren Goforth.
Darren was 47 years old, a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s department, and a married father of two beautiful children.
Harris County Deputy Thomas Gilliland speaking at a press conference described the gruesome details: “The deputy fell to ground and the suspect then came over and shot the deputy again multiple times as he lay on the ground.”
When Deputy Gilliland spoke those words he was speaking as a representative of the sheriff’s department. He had to show professional restraint.
I, however, do not.
I’m writing this as a third-generation cop with more than 35 years’ experience in law enforcement. So let me say it clearly: Darren Goforth was executed by a despicable, pathetic coward.
And now the clueless pundits, media minions and members of the political class will pontificate, speculate, opine and ponder—until the next news cycle.
Meanwhile, Deputy Darren Goforth is still dead and his family, children, friends and wife are beyond devastated. The community has lost someone irreplaceable. There is a hole in the soul of this country.
As for me, I’m beside myself. I’m emotional and frustrated. And I believe I’m not alone. In fact I believe I speak for the majority in law enforcement in this country when I say: We’re sick and tired of this crap! We’re pissed. We’re fed up.
And I’m not even talking about the despicable miscreant who carried out this depraved and hateful act. He’ll get his. What’s got me so steamed is the noise surrounding this heinous action. You know, the know-it-alls with mugs of coffee and sunny smiles, who denigrate this profession on one segment and then pretend to “feel our pain” on the next. I’ve had it with the pompous hate-mongers, who sit in heavily guarded, temperature-controlled television studios, pouring forth without decency, accountability and maybe most importantly without any knowledge about the subject of law enforcement.
By no means am I alone. There are nearly 700,000 other cops in this country. Their friends and families and the millions who know that police work is honorable and difficult. We are, I believe, a silent majority, who know that many members of the media, the political class, and the well-financed and opportunistic activists are out of line.
We know that Darren Goforth is not a badge on a wall or a picture on the internet. He was a man with a family, a future, and a purpose. He was a man who gave the last ten years of his life to the service of people in Harris County, Texas. He was a man who saved countless lives just because he had the guts to put on the uniform, patrol the streets and wade into situations that 95% of the population would run from. In his career he stopped people before they harmed others, took abuse from degenerate sociopaths that most of the people in this country don’t even know exist, and daily helped those most in need.
And now he’s dead. On Friday night, the coward who took this life walked up behind Darren and robbed him and his family of their future together. We know this.
And we know that there will be no marches in the streets to protest this heinous act. There will not even be a reckoning in the media about what should be out of bounds or what role they play in this poisoned political climate. The anti-police protestors won’t pause to ponder this loss of life and it’s reverberations and how their rhetoric fuels the hatred. The politicians—we know what they’ll do: Look for any opportunity to evade the leadership required of their offices.
Because the police are now the bad guys! Not the gang members shooting children in their homes at night. Not the people who push drugs on the young, fueling the cycle of addiction and poverty. Not those who break the law and then resist arrest. Not those who profanely demand the killing of cops. Nope. It’s us. It is the police officers in every agency, in every county, in every state of this country.
It’s people like Darren Goforth.
I saw a picture of Darren’s children. They are real. And they are now lost. The core of their being, their souls are injured beyond description. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain, confusion, fear and anger they must be feeling right now.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the top political voices will shout for change and demand justice for Darren Goforth’s family. Maybe the pundits will cry on television over his murder? And maybe the marchers will march for this police officer and bring to light the violence that is directed towards those in our profession on a daily basis.
But I wouldn’t hold your breath.