It is easy to become jaded after even only a few years in law enforcement. Given what appears to be a never ending string of attacks by the public, media and even elected officials, one needs to wonder if anyone appreciates what the average officer does day in and day out. Every once in a while, something happens to revive your faith in humanity even in the middle of an otherwise tragic situation; Monday August 24th was one of those times.
On that morning, Senior Trooper Steven Vincent, a 13 year veteran of the Louisiana State Police, stopped to help what he thought was a stranded truck stuck in a roadside ditch. As S/T Vincent was talking with the driver, Kevin Daigle, this man suddenly stepped from his truck and shot Vincent with a sawed off shotgun. As if this was not horrible enough, Daigle then stood Vincent and, according to a statement by Col. Mike Edmonson, said “You’re lucky; you are going to die soon.” Although Daigle has a criminal history, investigators have yet to determine why he chose to shoot Vincent with no warning on what appeared to be a simple assist motorist call. This is one of those events which makes you question your profession, question the public you serve and even question humanity as a whole. Then, you hear the rest of the story and your faith is restored.
During the same press conference when Col. Edmonson announced the death of Vincent, who died after being airlifted to a local trauma center, another man was introduced. This average citizen, identified as Robert LeDoux, was simply a motorist traveling on the same road as Vincent and Daigle when another motorist announced that a Trooper was being attacked nearby. LeDoux rushed to the scene and confronted Daigle, even though the shooter was still armed with the sawed off shotgun he used on Vincent. But, that did not stop LeDoux and several other unidentified citizens from wrestling the weapon from him. LeDoux is credited with then handcuffing the shooter with the Trooper’s handcuffs and then used his radio to call for assistance. Even though his efforts to save S/T Vincent from his attacker were unsuccessful, he was instrumental in assuring his killer did not escape justice.
Unfortunately, as uplifting and faith restoring as these events are, I doubt it will make more than a local headline. It will certainly never be the leading story on the evening news several days running. At some point in the past, this may have been because LeDoux and the other good Samaritans had simply done what was expected from your fellow man. I doubt that is still true. Of course the citizens were doing the right thing, doing what everyone hopes others would do if they were the one being attacked, but it will not be news for one simple reason – it does not play into the current anti-police sentiment. The cop was simply checking on a stranded motorist and paid the ultimate price when it turned out the motorist had decided to become a cop killer. There is no angle to be played, no agenda to be furthered; just a murdered cop who leaves behind a wife, a nine year old son and two brothers – both of whom are also in law enforcement.
Rest in Peace Senior Trooper Steven Vincent, Louisiana State Police. End of Watch 08/24/2015
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