Ironically and tragically Officer Verdell Smith, Sr. of the Memphis Police Department, Tenn. Was part of the “Law Enforcement Matters” campaign. He posed with a sign in uniform that said “I Matter “on June 1, 2016.
Within the week he would be killed in the line of duty and that very photograph would be used as the one in the Nationally Recognized “Officer Down memorial Page” to identify him in uniform.
Officer Smith was attempting to keep the people of Memphis safe from a man who was disturbed and went on a shooting rampage. Verdell spent his last minutes attempting to clear street and pedestrian traffic where the active shooter had fled in a vehicle and the Officer was trying to keep citizens safe from the man who could do them harm.
In Officer Smiths attempt to safeguard others he risked his own life and was run down by the very man he was trying to protect them from.
Yes Verdell Smith’s life mattered:
- It mattered to his co-workers on the Memphis Police Force he had worked with for 18 years.
- It mattered to the people he saved that very day who could have been shot or run over.
- It mattered to the people he served faithfully for 18 years in the City of Memphis.
- It mattered to the people of the United States of America when he served in the United States Navy.
- It mattered to his fiancée Jualonda Green.
- It mattered to his children Chelsea Smith and Verdell Smith Jr.
- It mattered to his stepdaughters, Marcetta Mayes and Marcesia Mayes
- It mattered to his father Odell Smith, Sr
- It mattered to his sister Robbin Rodgers
- It mattered to his brother Odell Smith, Jr.
- It mattered to his grandmother Mabel Smith
Officer Verdell Smith, Sr.’s life mattered to all of us the Wide Blue Line became a little bit thinner with his loss, but the courage and devotion he had to his fellow citizens he displayed has only strengthened our resolve. His sacrifice only made the blue line sharper and more definitive.
We have lost a hero in every sense of the word and we remember Officer Verdell Smith, Sr. who’s life and ultimate sacrifice mattered.