To the Editor:
My name is Kris O’Donnell, and I am the wife of Farmington Police Officer James O’Donnell. My husband was run over by a career criminal who was trying to steal catalytic converters. In the early morning hours of September 20, 2021, a Farmington Police Officer was knocking on my door. Upon answering the door, the officer explained to me that my husband was involved in an incident where he may have sustained a broken leg. There were very few details communicated to me. My two children, Saoirse (5 months) and Andrew (2 ½) were upstairs sleeping. I was told that I was immediately needed at the hospital to make necessary medical decisions.
Upon arrival, we were ushered into the emergency surgery unit. My heart sank the second I saw him. I knew immediately this was not a broken leg. Doctors were coming in every ten minutes to check if my husband was losing feeling in his legs and abdomen. My husband cleanly severed his spine from his sacrum and had broken all bones in one foot. The pelvis was so crushed that a bar needed to be installed so the abdomen would not collapse. While this situation was distressing, I could not comprehend what the coming year would entail. A day after surgery, I called the Town Manager in Farmington. I also asked for local representatives to meet with me. I wanted to know what these people would do to protect future officers. I asked for the opportunity to see the dash-cam and my husband’s body-cam footage. While I was told the footage was pretty intense, and I was discouraged to watch, I knew I needed to watch the event as it unfolded. It was gut-wrenching. I watched my husband be crushed on purpose. I watched my husband scream that he could no longer feel his legs.
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This event changed our lives. It destroyed a year of my children’s lives. When this happened, I reached out to as many legislators as possible. I knew, in my heart, the removal of qualified immunity had impacted my husband’s decision on shooting. I asked local legislators for their support. That is when I began to hear stories of Democrats saying they would not support the qualified immunity clause in the Police Accountability Law, and then they voted along party lines. I sought out people who want to represent the individual communities. You deserve representation to stand up for you, not a party caucus. I would like you to know, my husband and I are Independents and voted for Democrats more often than not. I would also like you to know- IT IS NOT WORKING.
Upon talking to victims of catalytic converter thefts and juvenile crimes, I realized this state needs a big change. There is a true lack of criminal accountability here. There is a rampant problem of stolen cars. The Democrats have created a perfect storm of fighting for the rights of criminals over protecting law abiding citizens of this state. Michael Grant is what Fairfield and Bridgeport needs to make those changes. He is a victim of a stolen car himself. He looks to bring local control back, parental rights, lower taxes, and economic improvements. He runs a small business. Michael Grant is willing to be the strong voice your community needs. He will protect your community’s safety.
People of this state have asked me for an entire year if I needed anything. I will tell you this. I need you to vote for Michael Grant. I need you to make the changes I asked for a year ago. I need you to protect the community you live in so you never need to deal with the issues I have dealt with the last year. Please, if nothing else, vote the career politicians out who lied to my face. Protect your law enforcement. Protect yourself. VOTE GRANT!
O’Donnell is the wife of Farmington Police Officer James O’Donnell