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One Year Ago We Saw Good

One Year Ago We Saw Good

On July 7, 2016, in the early evening, I was preparing a story for the next day here at Law Officer when I saw a Dallas based news organization carrying a live Black Lives Matter March in Dallas.  I had plenty of things to do but for some reason I stopped and pulled the live feed up and watched it.

What I saw was what I see in cities across America.  A peaceful group of citizens marching.  Some alone and some with families.  I saw positive interactions with law enforcement and I saw law enforcement marching while engaged with children and spectators.

I saw everything that is good about America.

The mainstream media does not accurately depict law enforcement, communities and especially the strong, positive relationships that many in law enforcement have with the community.

If the truth was known, law enforcement is the best of our cities, counties and states.

At 8:58 pm. CST, all hell broke loose in Downtown Dallas and for the next few hours we would see what the worse our society has to offer looks like.

A coward stood above that crowd and killed five police officers while injuring several others.

One of those was Shetamia Taylor.  She was a civilian and a mother of four boys.

As gunfire erupted, Dallas Police Corporal Lorne Ahrens looked at Shetamia and told her and her boys to run.

Corporal Ahrens’ huge body collapsed to the ground and before she was able to process what was occurring, she felt an extreme pain in her leg. She had been shot. As a mother, her only concern was for her children. Three of her sons escaped and one of them witnessed the trauma to his mother’s leg. 

As she told her son that he was going to be ok, she heard the voices of several officers telling her to stay down as they laid their bodies over her bloody body and her son. Her young son began to panic. She remembered hearing the voice of Detective Weatherford. With a soothing, southern Texas accent, he told her son that he would protect him and his mother.

Detective Weatherford was wearing plain clothes and didn’t have a bullet proof vest. He put his 6′ 4″ frame over her body anyway. It didn’t matter that he and the other officers were white and she was black. All of the officers sacrificed their bodies for them, as rifle rounds bounced off the concrete.

When there was a short break in the gunfire, the officers tossed Mrs. Taylor and her son inside of a bullet-riddled squad car and rushed them to the hospital.

They saved her life.

They were all that is good about America.

Shetamia and Detective Weatherford are friends now. She is passionate about bridging the gap between law enforcement and citizens and believes that God has called her to be part of the bridge between the two. She is a walking testimony and smiles through it all.

The coward racist referred to injured blacks as collateral damage.

In a grace that only God can give, that “collateral damage” has turned a coward’s hate into love.

Shetamia says that her young son wants to be a police officer and when he does, he will join the ranks of the men and women that make this country the greatest on the planet.

On that fateful day in Dallas, Texas, we all saw the lifelong pain and damage that one coward’s hate can cause but at the same time we saw what love does.

Love sees no color and love sacrifices all and on July 7, 2016, all of the world saw a glimpse of the goodness that love has to offer.

I would like to thank Chelsea Whitaker for bringing the story of Shetamia Taylor to my attention.

About The Author


Travis Yates is a writer and editor at Law Officer. An ILEETA Trainer of the Year, his Seminars in Risk Management & Officer Safety have been taught across the United States & Canada. Major Yates is a current Doctoral Student in Strategic Leadership and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is the Director of Training for SAFETAC Training ( and the Founder of the Courageous Leadership Institute (, providing leadership consulting and training to law enforcement around the world.

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