Surrounded by dozens of grieving officers, the family of slain Prince Georges County Police Officer Jacai Colson came to the sidewalk outside the Palmer Park headquarters where he died in the line of duty. “This is a painful time for me. This is a painful time for our institution,” Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski told the AFRO. “We just appreciate this community who rapped its arms around this department one year ago.”
At exactly 4:55 p.m., the moment the incident occurred one year earlier, people paused to reflect, pray, and to heal. “Lord we ask you to lift [the officers] up who continue to serve in the face of danger,” prayed a family member as others stood before a car draped with a quilt, made by Sheila Colson, the slain officer’s mother, that showed the images of Colson’s life.
Colson, 28, was one of several officers who arrived at police headquarters in Landover, Md., on March 13, 2016, after officers discovered that someone was shooting into the building. Michael Ford, 23; Malik Ford, 21; and Elijah Ford, 18 were charged with murder and related charges in Colson’s death. Prosecutors say Michael carried out the attack on police while the other two watched and recorded it.
Colson, at the time dressed in civilian clothing, came upon the scene and engaged the suspects but Officer Taylor Krauss mistook Colson for a civilian with a gun and fatally shot him.
A Prince George’s County grand jury did not indict Kraus, and while Colson’s parents are not resolved about what happened, his father reached out to the police department and honored all officers who died in the line of duty.
“He loved every one,” said John Zeke Teletchea, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 89. “He lived that life. Let us resolve to live life in the way that Jacai taught us to.”