Nothing was on TV. Literally nothing. We were sitting around, glancing through the guide, hoping the funniest movie would pop up.
"Let's see what's going on in the world today."
We decided to turn on 6-ABC Action News, our favorite news station and channel. I wanted to see the weather because August 14th was a bad day for weather. It was humid but cool at the same time. Thunder rolled in and out through the coast, and the rain was heavy.
The stock market took a tumble. The weather was shitty. An Ocean City beach tent caught on fire by a passing-by lightning strike.
Then, it started. Breaking news. An everyday thing. What now?
"At least one officer shot in North Philadelphia."
My eyes were now glued to the screen. My ears were now only listening to the anchorman. What do you mean?
One officer turned into two, and two turned into three. We were literally watching them run to their cars with blood gushing from their arms and legs. One particular officer was grazed in the head by a bullet.
It was not fun to watch. It was actually painful. The news never showed the shitty weather, and I did not care one bit.
This man was originally getting searched because he had a narcotics warrant. Officers went in, not expecting what was to unfold for about nine hours.
The news chopper was filming the whole standoff until 8 P.M. By that time, a total of six officers were shot but not seriously injured. Additional officers were injured, but those wounds were not gun-related. Either way, violence fired up in the Tioga-Nicetown section of North Philly, against police officers.
I was not happy. I wanted this guy to surrender or die. I was angry.
Usually, something like this doesn't bother me. I say a prayer for the officers and I get on with my life selfishly. But really, I admire those men and women who put their lives on the line for the community and the safety of others. There are police officers everywhere; they don't sign up for this job for the violence or potential danger. They sign up to make that difference, to keep people safe.
For some reason, this kept me up all night long. The news was on my TV in my bedroom until the suspect finally surrendered. I tossed and turned, worrying for the men and women in uniform. I was interested yet scared of how the situation would continue to unfold. I've never seen a live stand-off before.
Bullets were flying.
In the end, the suspect surrendered with his hands up, and all of the injured officers were released from the hospitals they were kept in. The prayers worked and the loss of sleep was worth it, as I can now sleep tonight peacefully knowing it's all over and done with.
This can happen at any time, anywhere. I already have my heart with all police officers, but this hours-long standoff in Philadelphia made me realize especially that I am so damn proud to back the blue. It was handled well and with care. They stayed strong. We didn't expect it to last that long.
The bravery and effort they put into their jobs blows me away, and it makes me happy to know that they are doing their best to keep me safe. I have the most respect for police officers and seeing this incident happen before my eyes makes me want to celebrate them, more than what they get credit for.
God bless the Philadelphia Police Department, but also all of the police officers ever in this country... retired or active. I am right behind you. Always.