Widow of Cincinnati officer killed in line of duty speaks out after 2 LA deputies shot, protesters yell ’We hope they die’ outside hospital

Widow of Cincinnati officer killed in line of duty speaks out after 2 LA deputies shot, protesters yell ’We hope they die’ outside hospital
Cincinnati Police Officer Daniel Pope (left) and Specialist Ron Jeter (right). (Source: Photo: City of Cincinnati Twitter account)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The ambush shooting that critically wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies followed by protesters yells of “We hope they die” outside the hospital is prompting the widow of a Cincinnati police officer killed in the line of duty more than two decades ago to speak out.

“I know what those families are going through,” Linda Pope wrote on Facebook Sunday night.

Her husband, Officer Daniel Pope, 35, and Specialist Ron Jeter, 34, were each shot in the back of the head just before midnight Dec. 5, 1997 as they tried to apprehend a domestic violence suspect.

Linda Pope was a Cincinnati firefighter when her husband and his partner were slain. Their dates of death are listed as Dec. 6, 1997 - just five days shy of the Pope’s seventh wedding anniversary.

The killings stunned the city and galvanized her to devote her life to helping widows and families of other slain officers in Ohio and across the nation.

It is in that vein that Linda Pope took to social media Sunday night to share her story and, she tells us, a message:

“You have this love of yours, either your child, spouse, father, brother, sister...it matters not. But you have this person who swore to make the world a better place...only to be gunned down by a coward,” she wrote.

"And then as you are getting ready to say goodbye, you encounter a group of people so foreign to your being, who are chanting that they hope your loved one dies...and your heart just shatters. Shatters into a million pieces. How could anyone feel this way about your loved one? One who swore to protect and serve? One who put others lives before their own? It makes no sense and it hurts your soul to the core.

“Is this the world we now live in? I am afraid it is. And I for one am scared. I am scared for all who inhabit this nation of ours. As we are slowly losing everything that matters to us...one peaceful protest at a time...."

Cincinnati Police Officer Daniel Pope and his wife, Linda Pope.
Cincinnati Police Officer Daniel Pope and his wife, Linda Pope. (Source: Provided)

Here is her Facebook post in its entirety:

“I have spent the afternoon thinking about the 2 LA County deputies who were ambushed last night. It has taken me back 22.5 years to the night my husband Dan and his partner Ron, were murdered in the line of duty.

"I remember the call at the firehouse where I worked. The lights coming on and our night watchman coming over to my bed. He sat on the edge of my bed and told me Dan had been involved in a shooting. In my gut I knew exactly what that meant.

"Fast forward about 1/2 hour. I arrived at the ER department at the University of Cincinnati Hospital. It’s where they take all of the injured police and fire for the best care in the city.

"I remember pulling up to the doors. The empty fogginess that had overcome my being. I remember walking through those doors to a sea of blue. All eyes turned to look at me as I entered the ER. I knew. We all knew. Dan was murdered by a repeat domestic violence offender.

"I was numb. I remember so much and so little of that night. I knew it was the end to my old life and the beginning of my knew life. I knew at some point I would have to go to the bowels of that hospital and see my dead husband. It was surreal. I just couldn’t do it, but at some point I knew I had to.

"Enter the room. There is my Dan. Hospital gown on. Tubes coming out of his mouth. Eyes open, but dead. Brain matter over his face. Even though the tried to clean it up, it was still there. I remember that night as it is etched into my soul.

"I spent many hours that night remembering every inch of his being. Following his outline with my fingers, etching into my soul how his profile felt. I felt his outline of his arms, his body, his legs, every inch of him so I would never ever forget one single thing about him.

"I left the hospital that night with all I had left of my Dan. I prayed for hope. Hope that is there is something after death. That was all I had left.

"I share this with you as I ponder the lives of the 2 deputies that were shot by a coward last night. I know what those families are going through. You have this love of yours, either your child, spouse, father, brother, sister...it matters not. But you have this person who swore to make the world a better place...only to be gunned down by a coward. And then as you are getting ready to say goodbye, you encounter a group of people so foreign to your being, who are chanting that they hope your loved one dies...and your heart just shatters. Shatters into a million pieces. How could anyone feel this way about your loved one? One who swore to protect and serve? One who put others lives before their own? It makes no sense and it hurts your soul to the core.

“Is this the world we now live in? I am afraid it is. And I for one am scared. I am scared for all who inhabit this nation of ours. As we are slowly losing everything that matters to us...one peaceful protest at a time...."

I have spent the afternoon thinking about the 2 LA County deputies who were ambushed last night. It has taken me back...

Posted by Linda Haddad Pope on Sunday, September 13, 2020
Double bands of mourning for Cincinnati Police Specialist Ron Jeter and Officer Daniel Pope. They were killed in the line of duty more than 20 years ago.
Double bands of mourning for Cincinnati Police Specialist Ron Jeter and Officer Daniel Pope. They were killed in the line of duty more than 20 years ago. (Source: FOX19 NOW/file)

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