Monday, November 21, 2016

A Somber Anniversary

He stayed true to his oath to the last,
laying down his life to keep his community safe and his neighbors secure.
I know that his legacy will live on in the proud annals 
of the U.S. Marshals Service and in the memory of his fellow law
enforcement officers from coast to coast. 
- United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch

The "He" of whom Attorney General was speaking was Deputy United States Marshal Patrick Carothers.  On Thursday morning, Deputy Carothers was murdered in the line of duty.  He was performing his duties as the deputy commander of the Southeast Regional Task Force when he was shot twice and killed by twenty-five-year-old Dontrell Montese Carter.  Carter had been on the run since mid-September from charges in Sumter County, South Carolina on charges including attempted murder, domestic violence, and illegally discharging a weapon.  

Patrick Carothers was a member of the United States Marshals Service for twenty-six years.  He is survived by his wife and five children, including his son, Paul, who is a freshman at the United States Naval Academy, and a freshman member of the Middies' football team.  His family shall now live the remainder of their lives without him.  A decision thrust upon them because of his courage in doing something that not everyone - including Your truly - is willing to do, which is run towards trouble rather than away from it.  

I learned of Deputy Carothers' murder from one of his fellow Deputies, Rob.  Thursday was the eighth anniversary of Rob's graduation from FLETC and the commencement of his career in the United States Marshals Service.  For the past eight years, I take a moment to remind myself every day that when your family is a law enforcement family, no day is a routine day.  I take a moment as well to remember Jimmy Malone's first rule of law enforcement and to hope that Rob does likewise.

Condolences to the family of Deputy United States Marshal Patrick Carothers, who died doing something he loved - a job that kept those in his community safe, regardless of their political affiliation, race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, or any other allegedly important identifying characteristic that you might be able to name or identify - including whether he knew them.  A good man was murdered in the pursuit of a bad man.  When you and yours gather around your dinner table tonight, think of Deputy Carothers and the men and women who do what he spent more than a quarter-century doing, and be thankful for him - and for them. 

Deputy United States Marshal Patrick Carothers
End of Watch - November 17, 2016


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