You know the old saying.... 'If you don't have anything Kind to say, don't say anything at all.'
But some people just can't help themselves when talking about us vultures, I mean, the media.
Today it was a mail carrier in Archdale. She didn't like the fact that I was getting video in front of a house where a man lived who, just hours earlier, had been killed by the police after a traffic stop and confrontation.
Let me give you some back story....
David Scott Ridge was stopped by the Randleman Police Department a little before midnight on Wednesday. Something must have agravated him, because according to the police department he came after the officer that stopped him and then also the officer that responded as a backup.
Ridge allegedly pulled a large knife, described as 'like a sword', on the two officers. Unable to calm or stop the large, angry man, they shot and killed him.
I got the call to respond to this Randolph County Scene around 5 am this morning. I did a Live Phone Report for the morning news and sent pictures from a picture phone to be used until Lenslinger arrived with the live truck and our esteemed morning reporter, Shannon Smith.
The morning actually flew by and before I knew it we had gathered great interviews with resident's of the quaint little loop road where the traffic stop turned tragic. Minutes before the noon news we wrapped up an interview with the once reluctant Acting Police Chief. He provided all the details of the morning mishap and in what seemed like a flash we were finished with the noon live shot and headed back to High Point.
But on the way back to the TV Station we played a hunch and stopped by the deceased's house and found some friendly neighbors that gave a glowing review of the 40 year old disabled father of two.
They were shocked and saddened that this heavy set man that walked with cane could find himself dead of such actions, but they were very happy to oblige us with a few soundbites.
It was about this time, while I was getting the obligatory exterior shots of Mr. Ridge's home that I saw the mail lady coming up the road again. She had been there ten minutes earlier, but had pulled a U-turn out of the neigborhood. I backed the camera across the street for a wide shot of the mail truck delivering the deceased his mail. After popping his mail in the box she pulled forward, put the eagle emblazened jeep in park and stepped out and proceeded to let me have it.
"This is pitiful. Why cant' you people just let these people grieve?" she said in a harsh and critical undertone.
She went on for a few more sentences and I just stood there with a probable blank look across my face, while my camera continued to roll on the wide shot of her tyrade. I only responded with a quiet, "Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I am just doing my job."
Her two short sentences seemed like five minutes of harsh persecution, but I am used to it. Spend enough time following scanner calls of bullets and bodies and someone's bound to be offended.
But the fact is, people use communication as counseling. People naturally want to talk about tragic events to get it off their chest and off their conscience. It may not always be the family of the deceased that wants to do the talking. Sometimes it's the neighbors or a friend or a co-worker or even a postal worker with a load of other baggage, but there is ALWAYS someone to be found that can articulate the nuts and bolts of a soul departed.
Those utterances of a lost life are always KIND. Isn't that the way it should be.