Editor's perspective: Police do it right in honoring officer killed in the line of duty

Kelly Lucas
October 9, 2013
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EidtPerspLucas-sigOn Sept. 26, I had a birds-eye view of the funeral procession honoring fallen Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Rod Bradway. From IBJ Media’s second-story windows at the corner of Washington Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, my co-workers and I watched throughout the day as officers from jurisdictions throughout the state and Midwest arrived to show their support.

bradwayprocession-15col.jpg (IL Photo/Kelly Lucas)

As the police cars rolled by, I couldn’t help but read, re-read and ponder the words “protect and serve.” As an editor, it is my job to think about words – what do they mean and do the ones we are using accurately say what we want them to say. On this day, I think that “protect and serve” took on a much deeper meaning for many. While in today’s world nothing is certain, how many of us have to think about death as a possible consequence of just doing our job?

This renewed emphasis on the risk law enforcement officers take made me appreciate even more the show of support for Officer Bradway and his family. After the funeral service at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse ended, the procession began. Hundreds of motorcycles, police cars and other emergency vehicles made their way up Pennsylvania Avenue to Washington Street and began the escort of Officer Bradway to his final resting place at Crown Hill Cemetery.

Vehicles representing cities throughout Indiana including South Bend, Terre Haute, Cumberland, Crown Point and Whitestown were there. Chicago’s finest came to pay their respect, as well as police forces from many Indiana colleges and universities. Even the Kentucky Wildcats had a car in the procession. Given the way many Indiana folks feel about the Wildcats, it made me smile to wonder what Officer Bradway would have thought of that. Under the circumstances, I have to think he would have been touched.

I did hear stories of people who were put out by the inconvenience the street closures caused. A co-worker was astounded by her ride in the elevator with a woman from another state who questioned why Indianapolis would shut down an entire city for something like this – “people die every day,” the woman said – and she commented that her husband is a firefighter. I saw a story on TV about a woman who ranted about the inconvenience of the closures on Twitter. Seems she learned a lesson about respect and the dangers of social media in one fell swoop. The story indicated she had to shut down her Twitter account due to negative feedback and threats.

I have to wonder how a person could see the outpouring of gratitude and brotherhood among the officers that day and not be completely alright with a little inconvenience. After all, each of us still gets to go home to our families tonight.

I’d like to say thank you to the members of law enforcement who gathered at the corner of Washington and Pennsylvania that day. You weren’t there to remind those of us who watched you of the risk that those who protect and serve take on even the most routine of days, but the message delivered by the show of force, respect and brotherhood was powerful.•


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.