HOUSTON - Joann Lombard is the mother of a police officer whose poems "Zero" and "Hero," are among the signs, flowers, balloons, and photos that are forming a giant memorial to murdered deputy Darren Goforth. The Zero, she says is the alleged killer, and the "hero," is all police.
The murders of Goforth on Friday, and "G.I. Joe" Gliniewicz in Fox Lake Illinois today, have her sending a message. "We're not safe anywhere. It's not about color, but we've got to stop, it's got to stop it's not about race it's about human beings. We need to be sticking together here and if we ever get our minds in that set then I think life would be better."
People like Lombard gather at the Chevron where Goforth was gunned down to hug deputies, shake their hands, give a gift, or just to say, "thank you." Shawn Nielson came with his Dad. "That guy had a family, he was doing good things, " he said.
To Vernon Nielson, this is a teachable moment for Shawn, "Everybody's lives matter," he said, "everybody's. If you are committing criminal activities, you are going to be targeted by police. Doesn't matter what color you are, what age; whatever you are. That's why I'm trying to teach him to be supportive of the police and to respect them."
With two officers murdered in less than a week, there is concern about officers' safety. Adding to that concern, a cell phone video from San Antonio, in which a suspect is shot by officers. The video shows only part of what happened; one of the man's hands is obstructed by a pole. In this tense climate, many are worried that the release of that video has put police in even more danger. The message at the memorial is clear: this is a time to wait for the facts, and stand up for cops. Memorial visitor Ashley Butterfield summed it up this way:" They're here to protect us and they do such a good job of it too."