ST. LOUIS — Four police officers who were shot after a protest turned violent June 1 have been invited to the White House to celebrate the Fourth of July.
The officers are expected to attend festivities in Washington from Thursday through Saturday along with other officers who have been injured policing protests across the country, according to Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
“This is a singular honor for these four officers to be recognized for their heroism at the seat of democracy on our country’s most important day,” Roorda said. “This is a day where we put aside politics as a nation and celebrate freedom, liberty and independence and it’s particularly fitting at this time that police officers are part of that celebration.”
President Donald Trump invited the four St. Louis police officers to join the First Family and other law enforcement officers from across the nation who have been injured during protests, Roorda said.
The four officers were shot after a protest over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis devolved into a night of violence June 1. They were shot in their extremities and were released from the hospital to recover at home within 24 hours.
Officer Ryan Murphy was among them. In an exclusive interview with 5 On Your Side earlier this month, Officer Ryan Murphy’s father said his son gave the following account of what happened when he got shot:
There was a line of Civil Disobedience Team officers stretched across Olive and 17th near police headquarters. Murphy and the other officers who got shot – three of whom are members of the same detective squad – were standing about 125 feet away from them discussing what they were going to do with their video cameras and digital equipment.
Rioters started throwing Molotov cocktails at officers on the line, so officers began firing tear gas. That’s when Ryan Murphy fell to the ground. He gripped his leg. And looked at his hand. It was covered in blood. He felt warm blood pouring down his leg.
His fellow officers ran to him, tied a tourniquet on his leg, put him in a police Tahoe to drive him to the hospital.
He told his father getting shot felt like letting the strongest person you know hit you square in the thigh with a bat so hard that it splits the muscle and hits the bone, and before they pull the bat back, the pain sets in and continues to increase.
A St. Louis man has been charged federally with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charges are related to the "ongoing investigation into the shooting of four St. Louis Police officers," according to a news release.
The police union is raising money to cover the cost of the trip for the officers, with plans to cover any costs beyond what they raise out of union coffers, Roorda said.
Donations can be sent to the St. Louis Police Officers Memorial Fund, 3710 Hampton Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63109.