Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Officers Wounded During Monday's Rampage Confirmed Dead: Source"

Officer Painter and I were browsing Twitter during our first break earlier this morning when the Buzz Feed appeared with Breaking News. We both watched in stunned silence as a picture of myself and another officer appeared on the Twitter home page, situated beneath a headline blaring in all caps, "Officers Wounded During Monday's Rampage Confirmed Dead: Source."

The first thought that came to mind was something akin to fear: "Man, I must have really messed up this time. I mean, they've got my picture up on Twitter! What on Earth did I do?"

Only then did the article itself appear, explaining that two officers were wounded in Monday's terrorist attack during a music concert in Manchester, United Kingdom. They were rushed to a local hospital where they later succumbed to their injuries.

The whole room went quiet at this development. I looked over at Officer Painter to gauge her reaction and she just stared at me for a minute, white as a sheet, her expression a mixture of confusion and horror. Honestly, she looked like she had just seen a ghost. 

In that moment I suppose she thought she had.

Word spread quickly around the station. Several officers forwarded the article to friends and family. Others pulled up a chair alongside us to read the article for themselves. About a dozen different officers asked to take a picture with me to send as an addendum, proving I was still alive and that "the Mainstream Media" had "fucked it up again."

I smiled for the camera because I didn't know what else to do.

"Dude, how does it feel to be dead?" Sergeant Chavira asked with a grin, slapping me on the shoulder with a meaty hand.

"Everything still sucks, so nothing has changed," I laughed.

After awhile I asked to be excused from the floor.

Twitter removed the article from its site about an hour later. I never received anything in the way of an apology or an explanation for it. As far as I know, no officers were killed during this particular terrorist attack.

Regardless, being told that you're dead when you are indeed very much alive is certainly an unsettling feeling. I don't recommend it.

(The British media confirmed Thursday morning that one officer was killed in the Manchester terrorist attack. At this time the identity of the slain officer is being withheld by authorities, as is their right.)

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