Hanna Velazquez: A day of agony for a Chickasaw police officer

A memorial to the fallen officers in Dallas, Texas. Photo by Bill Coatney

Hanna Velazquez, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, works as a police officer in Dallas, Texas, where five fellow officers were killed and nine were wounded by a gunman on July 7, 2016. She shares some of her thoughts from that painful day:
I am a lover of written words. And today I despise them. For I’ve tried and tried, and they can’t in any way describe wrecking sorrow, nor tremulous agony. No matter the efforts I put in arranging and rearranging them, I can’t adequately describe feelings or what I saw that night. Some things can not be contained within the structure of measly letters formed into words then sentences. Some things are just too massive, too much. And far too painful.

Never knew this kind. Not ever.

Distraught, and that is that, for now. Maybe the salty tears falling from cheeks to a phone screen as I type will penetrate these words and somehow equate to the sadness and devastation of my heart. But that is wishful thinking.

It was peaceful. As peaceful as it could be I suppose. Officers and protestors taking pictures together side by side. Officers yelled at here and there, cursed. But that was expected. Given the recent most tender of circumstances and events in our country, no rifles strapped to officers because we wanted those using their voice to be at ease and comfortable around those in blue and a badge. And so officers who had rifles did not have them strapped on and around considering the sake of others, given the nature of the event. This was in the midst of several protesters HAVING rifles around their bodies while marching and exercising that right.

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Hanna Velazquez: Chickasaw Dallas Police Officer: Tears On a Badge (Indian Country Today 7/15)

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