For any elected official to even question whether cops can suffer PTSD is shameful.
Though I'm retired from the department, I still see dead babies and people with bullet holes in their bodies. I still hear the screams of mothers whose children lay dead in the street.
I remember my first homicide, as a rookie cop in 1988. Carrie Coonrod was raped and stabbed to death walking to her car in a parking ramp in downtown Minneapolis. Her blood was pouring down the ramp from the stab wounds on her body. A young girl, fresh out of college, going for her first big job interview.
I wiped away tears because I didn't want media to catch me crying. It was my first time seeing a dead body.
I still remember the many children sexually abused by people they should have been able to trust. Like the 4-year-old whose grandfather said he raped her because every time she sat on his lap with those tight shorts on, she wiggled around until he just couldn't help himself.
Or the mom who beat her kid to death because she was too pretty and people doted on her. Even broke her little legs.
Or the aunt who murdered her nephew and all the kids knew the boy was in the house dead but were too afraid to tell the police.
Or the SIDS babies who had the biggest cops, firefighters and EMTs in tears.
Or the man who was murdered on Thanksgiving and his mom who asked me one question: "Officer can I just see my baby just one time and I'll make the crowd go away." A great homicide detective, Bernie Bottema, took her in his arms for a hug and them took her to see her grown son she called her "baby."
I still remember hearing the cries of a woman who was being sexually assaulted. She was able to dial 911 on her phone. At the time all cellphone calls went straight to State Patrol. She begged for her life for hours as he raped her in every way imaginable. She was found by Ascension School in north Minneapolis.
My list of what we see in one day is greater than what you see in a lifetime. Don't ever question a cop's PTSD.
I, and every cop, can share the truth of what we see and deal with every day, and then move on to the next call while you all rest comfortably in your beds. There is no faking PTSD ... period.
There is a reason that City Council members, with all the fakery that comes with them, don't want to do ride-alongs with cops. They're scared of seeing the truth.
Council Member Jeremiah Ellison, you get to bash cops all you want to, but don't ever question PTSD and think I will be silent ("1 in 4 cops seeks disability," July 18).
In all that I saw in my police career I still know there are good cops and good people. Some day the two shall meet.
Lisa Clemons is a retired MPD sergeant and director of A Mothers Love Initiative in Minneapolis.