Can You Believe This?

My name is Mary Thompson and my husband, Richard, is the Chief of Police here in Crawford, Nebraska.

He’s also a father — and grandfather — who could be sent to prison for five years.

All for defending himself in the line of duty against an armed and dangerous suspect!

For the past seven years Richard has been the Chief of Police here in Crawford.

I am worried — worried that my husband will be locked away in prison with cop-hating criminals just for doing his job!

Richard was on duty when he heard that
a man by the name of Jesse Britton was wanted in connection with a string of burglaries in the area.

Britton had a long criminal record — including 16 appearances in juvenile court.

Most recently, he had just been released from a juvenile detention center.

Witnesses told my husband that Britton had stolen a Ruger revolver — and that he had threatened to kill his girlfriend, the local school superintendent, and my husband with it.

The local high school immediately went into “lockdown” after Britton’s threats, in order to prevent another Columbine or Virginia Tech massacre.

Meanwhile, Richard and Officer Dan Kling tracked Britton down to an abandoned bar.

They posted three officers outside in case Britton tried to make a run for it.

Once inside, they heard someone moving on the floor above.

Richard walked up the narrow stairwell to the bar’s office and storage area.

It had no windows and was completely dark.

Richard turned on his flashlight and swept it around the room. Suddenly the light landed on a large desk in the back.

And crouched low behind the desk was Jesse Britton!

Knowing he could have a gun, Richard shouted, “Show me your hands! Show me your hands!”

But Britton refused.

Instead, he rose slowly out of his crouched position and pointed the Ruger revolver he had stolen directly at my husband’s forehead.

Richard had only a split-second to react.

First yelling, “Drop it! Drop it!”, he then fired two shots from his service revolver as he ducked backwards to avoid the aim of Britton’s gun.

One shot hit Britton.

Meanwhile, Officer Kling heard the shots and fired twice at Britton as well, hitting him at least once.

Britton died at the scene.

Richard was devastated.

If Britton had just stood up and showed them his hands, it would have been a routine arrest. And this troubled young man would still be alive.

Under Nebraska law, a Grand Jury had to be convened, as well as a routine investigation.

The Nebraska Attorney General said that since Britton had been shot after pointing a gun at the officers and ignoring their orders to drop the weapon, he fully expected Richard and Dan to be cleared.

So imagine our shock when the Grand Jury indicted Richard on charges of “Second Degree Assault!”

According to the Grand Jury, Richard should have retreated, run out of the room, and surrounded the building instead of shooting Britton.

They said his actions were “reckless.”

Yet Officer Kling was not indicted.

After the indictment, Richard was immediately suspended without pay from the police force.

He’s facing trial later this year.

And if convicted, he could be sent to prison for five years.

For 23 years he has risked his life as a sheriff’s deputy, police officer, and Chief of Police.

I can’t believe my husband could go to prison for doing his job — as he was trained to do.

And even if Richard does survive the trial, we will be devastated financially.

Now Richard has gone without pay since last November — more than five months!

And now we could be facing over $100,000.00 in legal bills.

Thankfully, something we do have is the support of the good folks at the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF).

If you’ve heard of LELDF, then you know they defend innocent police officers like Richard who have been forced to make split-second decisions in the line of duty.

Former Attorney General Ed Meese is a member of their Board of Directors.

And they have told us they will do everything they can to defend Richard from these unfair charges.

For the first time since this nightmare started, I finally have some hope.

But my hope also depends on you.

You see, LELDF is a non-profit organization — which means they don’t receive one dime of funding from the federal government.

It also means I’m going to swallow my pride and ask you a very hard question.

Would you please consider sending a contribution to LELDF today to help them fund expert witnesses, legal research, and attorneys for Richard’s trial?

Your gift of any amount is tax-deductible.

But most importantly, your gift could be the one thing that keeps Richard here at home with his family where he belongs…
… instead of sending him to prison for five years for a crime he didn’t commit!

Please — I know when you looked at our photo that we are just strangers to you.

But I see a husband… a father… a grandfather… and a family that will be further torn apart if Richard is sent to prison.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And thank you on behalf of every wife of an American police officer. I hope they never go through a nightmare like ours. (Please click here to show your support)


Mrs. Mary Thompson

P.S. If shooting a suspect who’s pointing a gun in your face is “reckless,” then sooner or later every police officer in America will be behind bars. Won’t you please help LELDF defend my husband today for doing his job – and doing it right? Thank you again!

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