For a couple of days last week, I covered the death of Hawthorne Police Officer Andrew Garton.
If you had told me last week that I could have a better understanding of what South Bay area law enforcement officers were going through, I probably wouldn't have believed you.
It's not that I didn't have the ability to understand or empathize with what the officers were feeling. They had lost a friend and fellow officer.
I've covered stories that have involved death before and often. I've suffered through the death of friends and family members.
So, now I understand that it was with a slight of bit of arrogance to believe I understood how the members of the Hawthorne Police Department felt last week.
They lost a friend and coworker to a set of circumstances that just seemed randomly impossible. Not to violence in the line of duty, but just to an accident.
Reporter Rita Garcia and I talked to people who knew Officer Garton. I think it fair to say, the officers we spoke to seemed frustrated and troubled over the sudden loss.
Working in news, I've seen how random life can be. Accidents happen. Mostly they happen to other people and sometimes we have a reason to tell the story on the news on TV.
Accidents? Mostly they happen to other people.
I'm still dealing with the loss of my friend and coworker, James Kang. The suddenness and unexplained circumstances surrounding his passing is also frustrating and troubling.
My condolences go out to the friends and family of Officer Garton. It's now with a different perspective that I offer my condolences.
It might sound slightly trivial, but it is with the sincerity of having also recently lost a friend that I add, I feel your pain.