Photo Credits: Justin Han / Aggie. People attending Natalie Corona's memorial wave flags at passing cars in front of the Davis Police Station on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020.
Gathering brings up current social issues, including Blue Lives Matter movement, impact of social media, more
The Davis community was rocked by a terrible tragedy last year, on Jan. 10, 2019: the death of Natalie Corona, a 22-year-old rookie police officer. Corona was fatally shot in the line of duty while responding to a car accident in Downtown Davis. To honor the life of the department’s “rising star,” community members gathered in front of the Davis Police Department earlier this month, on Jan. 10, to show their support and keep her memory alive.
The rally was organized by the group LEO: Law Enforcement Officer supporters. One of the founding members of the organization, John Freer, expanded on the efforts that were made to support Officer Corona.
“Last Friday marked the one year anniversary of the tragic passing of Officer Natalie Corona,” Freer said. “We wanted to organize a rally to show support for the family and the Davis PD and to let them know that there are people out there that are on their side.”
During the rally, Corona’s former fellow officers unveiled a new park bench and plaque outside the department to honor her legacy. The plaque sits alongside a plaque of Officer Douglas Cantrill, who was killed in the line of duty in 1959.
In addition to the new memorials added to the police department, a company by the name of Frisard’s Trucking Co. Inc. showed their support for Corona. Freer noted that the company has a strong attachment to law enforcement officers and, as a result, created a truck that has the names of all the fallen heroes from police departments across the country in 2019, which they drove from Louisiana in support of Corona.
It was pointed out by the LEO organization that, over recent years, a disproportionate number of police officers have been killed in the line of duty.
“It’s only the beginning of January and we have already lost ten officers across the country,” Freer said. “These people are human, just like you and me, and every year there are so many more police officers getting shot at. It’s ridiculous.”
Corona’s death sparked controversy at the UC Davis campus, when the ASUCD Senate attempted to pass a piece of legislation to honor her life and efforts. The ASUCD Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission responded to this proposal with a statement of their own, calling the Blue Lives Matter movement “anti-Black and disrespectful.”
Freer touched on this sentiment, saying the dangers associated with being a police officer have become even more grave because of the negative portrayal police officers often have in the media.
“Times have changed, and a simple traffic stop can be their last stop,” Freer said. “There are brave men and women that put their lives on the line to protect outs and I think that there are times that it is taken for granted. If you are sitting in the comfort of your home and something goes wrong, you can always call 911 and they are going to be there. Being an officer is a dangerous job and we want them to know that they have people supporting them.”
“It’s really tragic to see a beautiful 22-year old officer taken for no reason,” Freer said. “We just hope that the community continues to heal and that the family of Officer Corona knows that she will never be forgotten for the brave sacrifice that she made.”
Written by: Sneha Ramachandran — email@example.com