His Life Mattered: Black Detroit Police Officer Succumbs to Injuries Sustained in the Line of Duty

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Posted: Jun 30, 2020 6:55 PM
His Life Mattered: Black Detroit Police Officer Succumbs to Injuries Sustained in the Line of Duty

Source: Officer Down Memorial Page

"Black Lives Matter." It's the mantra we keep hearing but one that is selectively applied across the board. In this narrative about so-called racist law enforcement officers, the one thing we're not hearing about are the minorities that make up police departments across the nation. 

Detroit Police Officer Waldis Johnson, a 16-year veteran, was shot on April 30, 2017 when he and his partner, Officer Darren Maurice Weathers, responded to a domestic disturbance call on the city's west side. When the duo arrived on the scene, they knocked on a common front door to the apartment complex. A man not related to the call came down the stairs, answered the door and pointed a handgun at Officer Johnson. The man and Johnson struggled over the firearm. When Officer Johnson went to reach for his service weapon, the man shot him. Officer Johnson returned fire and struck the suspect twice. Officer Weathers returned fire and pulled his partner from the doorway. The suspect died at the scene.

Officer Johnson received a gunshot wound to the head. As a result of the gunshot, he suffered a traumatic brain injury. He fell into a coma for six months. When he woke up, he was breathing on his own but still could not talk, the Detroit Free Press reported. Since the incident, Johnson has been in a rehabilitation facility. He died earlier this month as a result of his injuries.

The Detroit City Council awarded Officer Johnson with the Spirit of Detroit Award, which honors a person, event or organization being honored for an outstanding achievement or service to the city's citizens.

During the funeral, City Chief of Staff Stephen Grady slammed those wanting to defund the police.

"Those who want to defund the police need to be sitting here today and they need to see the type of sacrifice that a true American hero makes," Grady explained.

Thank you for your service, Officer Johnson. May your sacrifice and love of community never be forgotten. Your life and those you touched matter.