Whose life has more value?

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Yesterday thousands attended the funeral of slain trooper Chad Derymer he was gunned down during a training exercise at a Greyhound bus station in Richmond, Virginia on March 31st, 2016.Dermyer, who became a state police trooper in 2014, was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served as an officer with the Newport News Police Department and in his hometown of Jackson, Mich.

He is survived by his wife and two children, ages 14 and 11. He was 37.

Dermyer was shot and killed by James Brown III of Aurora, Ill. during training for that counterterrorism unit. The training involved approaching people who seem suspicious. His suspicion helped him identify a murderer and unfortunately he paid the ultimate price.

The question is “how do we dictate the worthiness of ones life?” I chose to chase my passions and do work i enjoy doing like everyone else. Ive never had an interest in being a part of the military my mother served in the United states army, my step mother still serves in the army as well, My step father served 20 plus years in the air force. My father served over 20 years in the United states Navy and my uncle still serves as a colonel in the Marines. My sister is probation officer that will eventually become a crime scene detective. I have no desire to carry a gun or fight. Does that mean i dont serve my country. Does that mean i wont put my life on the line for someone else? Does that speak about my integrity? When someone dies in the hands of someone else pain engulfs your body, like a slow moving dark cloud of thick smoke. It starts at your feet and it moves slowly through your blood stream, filling every crevice of your body. encompassing your lungs, surrounding your heart, slowly moving up your spine, into your throat as you feel like youre choking and into your mind and suffocating you. Its unimaginable pain. My condolences go out to Officer Drymyer’s family.

Death is death. Murder is murder. We should value every life the same because we were all created the same and our blood flows the same and who we are and what we do doesnt make one life more valuable than the next. All lives matter. Show respect to all families who have lost a loved one. Pain still hurts regardless. Officer Dermyer’s murderer was killed shortly after, so so many may say his family has some relief. It’s all to common how i witness slain officers and law enforcement fall victim to murder and the police departments put EVERY effort forth to resolve the murder and fight for justice in every imaginable and unimaginable way possible. Is that a fight for their own? I believe fair is fair. That’s one main reason our country faces so much turmoil because of so much injustice. Well my detective told me Damians murder would only be resolved if someone was detained for something else( most likely drug charges he implied) and decided they didnt want to go to jail and told information they knew. Then when asked to question certain individuals the detective stated ” i mean and say what”. If hes trying to help find Damiams murderer his efforts are disguised.. Fight for every life. If we truly took the time to look outside ourselves. Look outside of our family problems, psychological issues, our pain, our suffering, our prejudices, our uncertainties, our hates, our frustrations, our trained minds, our ignorance, our fears, our egos, if we take the time to value human life then how we treat others would change and how we live would reflect. We are all only here temporarily as we steadily allow the physical world to engulf our lives and destroy our souls. Take a step back and care. Our streets were filled with officers and attendees of his funeral. Not one officers came to Damians funeral.Now Imagine if support was shown for every death, how would things be different?

9 comments

  1. You raise a really valid point here. I am in Canada, and have never understood your Capital Murder charges there. As I understand it, they are only used when a police officer is killed in the line of duty and the murderer is caught? I have always questioned how one life carries more worth than another. Makes no sense to me, either. A life is a life is a life.
    The loss of anyone causes ripples for years. Shouldn’t matter by whose hand they died or if they were working when it happened or not. All are tragedies.

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  2. I think the answer to your question is that all lives are of worth by virtue of their share in the human story.
    The Western individualism that pervades our current culture necessarily stacks one human life up against another in comparisons of worth. But, in other cultures– especially Native culture– the group, the tribe was seen as one Self. The concept of individualism was foreign before the onslaught of western ideas and peoples. When one person suffered, the tribe suffered. When one person grieved, they all grieved.
    I think, reading about your grief here, your own heart experiences your humanity the same way. The loss of the life of a loved one, is experienced so deeply because they were a part of who you were and are. They suffered, and so you suffer. But our wider culture in the present time rarely sees the notion of individualism as the illusion that it is. And sometimes that is because people are unwilling or unable to feel the pain of entering into our own humanity.
    With the state of the world as it is, we all should mourn and lament. That is the reality. When others kill without reason, they hurt all of humanity. We all should feel that pain of loss and grieve with each other.

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  3. I am grateful that you are telling your story, and speaking towards the sacredness of life, and that everyone is eligible for compassion. By writing so beautifully about this issue I believe you are helping us move towards a reality in which there is less violence. Thank you. That there has been no effort to locate those responsible for Damian’s death is completely unconscionable.

    We recently had a police shooting in our small community, both a police officer, and a mentally ill man were killed. The newspaper coverage of the event completely demonized one, and sainted the other. Both men left children fatherless. The Officer killed was a wonderful man, committed to his community, and well liked- The other man had had a lived a life with much abuse, and little stability.
    Ultimately it was a double tragedy, and recognizing that does not diminish the validity of the pain either family is experiencing in the aftermath. While choosing to value one life more, very much does add so much pain to the experience of the family of the mentally ill man. (All while the role of the second police officer, who actively escalated the situation, is brushed aside and ignored…) As you said, “murder is murder.”

    May we see the day when there is more justice, and much less violence.
    namaste

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