How politicians have responded to the Greenland tragedy
Late last night I noticed that Democratic candidate for governor Jackie Cilley had posted a highly politically charged statement about the Greenland shooting in which Police Chief Michael Maloney was killed and four other officers wounded. I tweeted a link. The next morning a couple of Democrats suggested I should be equally outraged about House Speaker Bill O'Brien giving a public response.
I had not seen O'Brien's response. This morning the speaker issued a press release containing his comments on the tragedy. If he has made any other public statements, I have not seen them. I did a Google News search and nothing came up. If you have any examples of politician statements about this horrible murder that you think deserve attention, please post or link to them in the comments section.
I'm posting the full statements of O'Brien, Cilley, Democratic candidate for governor Maggie Hassan, Republican candidates for governor Kevin Smith and Ovide Lamontagne, and Gov. John Lynch below. I'll let the reader decide whether they are equivalent.
'This has been an unspeakable tragedy for the residents of Greenland, and all of us across New Hampshire will come together to offer that community the help and support that they will so desperately need over the upcoming days and weeks. Having been through a terrible tragedy in Mont Vernon several years ago, I know just how well New Hampshire residents unite quickly to begin the healing process and to rebuild the fabric of a community that has suffered such a heartbreaking loss.
'Today, our thoughts and our prayers are with the families and friends of the police who were affected by this senseless violence. When an officer falls, an important part of all of us is lost. Every family deserves to have their member serving in law enforcement return home at the end of a shift. Chief Maloney will not be returning and we will continue to be reminded of the honor he brought to his public service and his family's loss as in future days we see police officers in service to their communities. The lives of the Chief's survivors and those of the families of the other injured officers have been forever changed in a matter of seconds, while these brave men were doing their job to keep us all safe.
'My heart also goes out to our Deputy Speaker, Pam Tucker, who was a personal friend of her police chief. I know, though, that Pam will be a leader in the community in the coming weeks and months to get her community back on its feet, and I have offered her whatever assistance I can on Greenland's behalf.
'While I might have had some disagreements with our Attorney General, any issues we might have fall aside as we stand united in our efforts to help Greenland, the entire Seacoast, and the law enforcement community move past this tragedy. Today, our state government stands as one in our efforts to support Greenland and our law enforcement community.'
"Tonight was one of those moments where the veil drops and it is clear what this war -- and it is a war -- is all about. It should have been a routine campaign stop to chat with the Rockingham County Law Enforcement Association. I looked forward to dinner with them and telling them about my candidacy. Shortly into the evening everything changed, something had gone tragicallly wrong. Cell phones lit up, officers scattered to various corners of the room, quiet urgent conversations broke out at each table, and finally the news came that there were officers shot in Greenland, the town right next door to where we were meeting in Exeter. The stricken looks on the faces of those in the room left no doubt -- these were their own and as dear to them as their own biological family members.
"The news continues to unfold as I write this, but we know from the reports the injuries are severe. Families wait to hear the status of their loved ones and whether s/he will be home tonight.
"While the fights in the legislature have gone on over their value, their pensions, their rights to have a voice in jobs, these men and women in blue go about just doing their duty, a duty that sometimes calls upon them to give their full measure.
"These are the same men and women who have been called "parasites on the backs of taxpayers." As one of those taxpayers, I give thanks every day knowing they are to perform a vital public safety function.
"There will likely be a big show support in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy. But there is no flag waving or atta-boys that will make up for the utter disrespect that these public employees have been subjected to over these past two years. And, still they give us everything they have to give.
"My heart goes out to the entire law enforcement community."
"This is an incredible tragedy and a sad day for New Hampshire. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Police Chief Maloney, the officers injured along with their families and the New Hampshire law enforcement community."
"Last night's tragic shooting in Greenland is a heavy reminder of the sacrifice our brave men and women in uniform make each and every day all in the name of service to their fellow neighbor. My deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with Chief Maloney's family, the officers wounded and their families, and the entire law enforcement community. May God bless you all during this time of deep sadness."
"Bettie and I mourn the tragic death of Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney, who lost his life in the line of duty last evening. Our hearts are with his family during this difficult time, as well as with the four other officers who were shot last evening, their families, and the law enforcement community as a whole. We pray for their comfort and for the quick recovery of Officers Gregory Turner, Eric Kulberg, Scott Kukesh and Jeremiah Murphy. Last night serves as a stark reminder of the dangers our law enforcement personnel face to protect us and our communities every day. We are grateful to each and every one of you, and share your loss today."
Lynch, last night:
"This is a terrible tragedy. I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of the officer who was killed. I ask everyone in New Hampshire to continue to pray for the recovery of the other officers involved and their families."
Lynch, this morning:
"My thoughts and prayers and those of my wife, Susan, are with the family of Chief Michael Maloney. Chief Maloney's unwavering courage and commitment to protecting others serves as an example to us all.
"I ask the people of New Hampshire to join me in honoring the sacrifice of Chief Maloney, and supporting his family at this time.
"Our deepest condolences also go out to the Greenland Police Department and the entire community.
"We are also praying for the recovery of Officers Eric Kulberg of the University of New Hampshire Police Department, Scott Kukesh of Newmarket, Greg Turner of Dover and Jeremiah Murphy of Rochester, who were wounded during this incident.
"The killing of a police officer deeply impacts every one of us in New Hampshire.
"This incident is a stark reminder of the dangers our brave men and women in law enforcement face everyday as they work to protect all of us."