Young, ambitious and dedicated to helping young people, Maryland State Trooper Wesley Brown had a lot going for him at age 24 ("Off-duty Md. trooper killed at restaurant," Web, News, Friday).
All that, however, was taken from him when he was viciously ambushed in the early morning hours after working his part-time security job at Applebee's restaurant in Prince George's County, Md. Earlier in the evening, he had escorted out a disorderly man who was refusing to pay his bill. When Mr. Brown left the restaurant at the end of his shift and readied to depart in his marked cruiser, which was visibly stationed outside the restaurant, he was gunned down in cold blood, with no chance to react or return fire.
He clearly was targeted, and whoever killed him knew he was a Maryland state trooper. He was wearing a jacket that clearly displayed the word "Police," and he had his badge hanging from his neck.
The senseless victimization of this police officer is not only horrifying but extremely disturbing. Mr. Brown was targeted because he represented an authority figure; his murder exemplifies hatred for a cop and total disregard for a life.
Mr. Brown's life was one of promise. He was a trooper at a young age, had recently gotten engaged to be married and was actively helping young people by dedicating significant time and effort to mentoring them. He was well-known for his perpetual smile and good spirit.
The impact of this heinous crime has hit hard within the criminal-justice community not only locally, but nationwide. The secondary effects have touched the shocked people in the restaurant who saw the bloody aftermath of Mr. Brown stumbling back into the establishment after being shot and collapsing, only to die later at a hospital. Community members shake their heads wondering what the world has come to when even a cop is the victim of such a heinous crime.
When the criminal who committed this unconscionable act is apprehended, charged, indicted and taken to trial, the jury needs to do unhesitatingly the right thing by bringing full justice to bear.
KAREN L. BUNE
Adjunct professor, Marymount University
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