- Posted March 23, 2013 by
Ofc. Jennifer Sebena
Ofc. Jennifer Sebena of WI was killed on duty. Each year, officers who died in the line of duty are included on Washington D.C.'s national police memorial, with their lives celebrated during Police Week.
Initially, the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund supported Sebena's inclusion on the wall. The memorial then withdrew their decision, because Sebena was killed by her husband through domestic violence. This conflicts prior precedence set by the memorial, as other officers have been included whose deaths also resulted from domestic violence situations. Make no mistake; Ofc. Sebena was killed on duty, in uniform.
There is both sadness and outrage in the law enforcement community, often viewed as a family. A petition on change.org, numerous Facebook postings, and actions taken by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and other organizations are advocating for the memorial to do the right thing, for Sebena as well as the law enforcement community.
The memorial's decision has prompted another notable site, the Officer Down Memorial Page, to remove Sebena's page.
While this type of officer down scenario is rare, and I might be giving abusers too much credit, this sets a future precedence for abusers to have the ability to murder their partners while offering a severe final act of disrespect and abuse by destroying the legacy of their partners' careers. There is now, unfortunately, a part of the law enforcement community that is trivializing the act of domestic violence, while giving abusers additional power, unintentionally or not.
The fund is responding with generic press releases, which state that the decision will be reconsidered next year. There is no precedence nor reason for a delay on this matter.
The very memorial has the following engraved on it: "It is not how these officers died that made them heroes. It is how they lived."
Ofc. Sebena deserves the respect she is due for her service and for the manner in which she was murdered.
This matter has received a great deal of public attention, and public support will only continue to grow until Ofc. Sebena's name is included on the national memorial.
Any inaccuracies above are due to error on part of the author.