Decorated Officer Not Wearing Vest
Nassau County, New York Police Officer Arthur Lopez received a fatal chest wound from the driver of a car he had stopped. As Officer Lopez approached the car, the driver shot him from several feet away and then fled the scene.
Police Chief Steven Skrynecki has stated that Officer Lopez wasn’t wearing a bulletproof vest.
Lopez was also a volunteer firefighter with the Dix Hills Fire Department. In fact, he seems to have not only been a decorated public servant but also an exemplary member of the community, a very responsible son and a great neighbor.
His lack of personal protection seems inexplicable given his experience and training, especially as a firefighter. A street officer without a vest is the same as a firefighter entering a structure fire without turnouts.
How to explain it?
Well, so far it hasn’t been explained. Other than the initial information that he wasn’t wearing one, there has been virtual silence from news sources, which is very disappointing. With each passing day we continue to wonder why he was without it but also why the press doesn’t follow-up.
As much as we want to bring Arthur Lopez back we simply cannot and if he was not wearing a vest but should have been, we should know why, as painful as it is, for the best reason possible: it will save lives.
Even at this especially tragic moment it is unprofessional on the part of the press and the agencies involved to effectively ignore a proximate cause of a hero’s death. He won’t be any less heroic, that’s for sure.
I am the wrong person to discuss the notion of an afterlife, but can there be any doubt, based on what we know of Officer Lopez’s life here, that he would want us to know the details to keep us safer?
We surely know the answer to that question.
(Sources/Credits: AP, NYT, NYDN, NYP, Huffpost, ABC)