My name is Tracey Bunn and my husband is former Atlanta Police Officer Raymond Bunn. I gave birth to our fifth child -- a baby boy -- just a few months ago.
But Ray wasn’t allowed to go to the hospital with me. Because the Fulton County District Attorney was holding him in jail that night -- and is trying to put Ray in prison for the rest of his life!
More than three years ago, on July 14, 2002, Ray and his partner were patrolling the Buckhead bar district area of Atlanta. It was about 3:00am when they heard the sound of breaking glass and a car alarm go off -- and saw a man jump out of the shattered passenger window of nearby car.
Ray and his partner began shouting over and over: “Police! Stop! Police! Stop!” But the man ignored them and jumped into the back seat of a nearby Chevy Tahoe SUV. Both Ray and his partner drew their weapons and slowly advanced towards the SUV. Suddenly the driver of the SUV, a man named Corey Ward, punched the gas pedal and started driving straight at my husband.
Ray was trapped between the right front of his cruiser and the oncoming car. With the SUV just a few feet away from him, Ray had no choice. He fired off two shots from his service revolver and tried to jump out of the way. But he didn’t make it. The SUV struck his knee.
And the worst was still yet to come.
Corey Ward, the driver of the SUV, died at the scene from the gunshot wound to his head. Ray was devastated -- it was the first time in his police career that my husband had ever been forced to kill a man. But he knows that he did the right thing.
Police are trained to use force if they feel their lives are in danger. Which Ray’s life clearly was. But anti-police activists in Atlanta didn’t agree.You see, Corey Ward was a young black man. Radicals in the black community accused my husband of being a rogue, racist cop.
They held demonstrations in front of the police station calling for a murder indictment against Ray.
Even Johnny Cochran -- the notorious attorney who defended O.J. Simpson -- showed up in Atlanta to stage a protest!
Ray and his fellow police officers -- both black and white -- couldn’t believe it, as my husband was being labeled a “racist” for defending himself in the line of duty!
Then, after everything we’d just been through, Ray’s National Guard unit, he is a sergeant, was called up for deployment to Iraq.
It about broke my heart to say good-bye to him. But God brought Ray home safely after a year-long tour of duty. Our family was finally all back together. And we were all so excited when I found out I was expecting our fifth child!
Then without warning, the Fulton County District Attorney announced that he was indicting Ray for the murder of Corey Ward.
That’s right -- three and a half years after my husband was nearly killed by Corey Ward’s SUV, and after a year long tour in Iraq, the DA finally bowed to pressure from local activists and indicted Ray.
If convicted, Ray could be imprisoned for the rest of life -- just for doing his job!
My oldest daughter is scared to death that she’s going to lose her dad. My sons try to be strong -- but I can see how frightened they are, too.
And every time I see Ray rock the baby to sleep, or just walk the kids to the bus stop, I can’t help but think that these are sweetest moments of our lives -- the moments we’ll lose forever if Ray is sent to prison!
I’m trying to have hope.But the deck is stacked against us.
Remember, it took three years for the Fulton County D.A. to decide to indict Ray. It shows you just how powerful the local radicals really are that the D.A. caved in to their political pressure.
The local news stories never mention that police found cocaine, marijuana, a large knife, and two stolen cell phones in Ward’s SUV.
Or the fact that Corey Ward drove his three-ton vehicle right at my husband!
Or the fact that in the police report, one of the passengers in Corey Ward’s SUV said “he saw a man get out of the vehicle and yell police, police, stop, stop!” The passenger went on to say “I knew the guy telling him to stop was a police officer because of the chain he wore around his neck displayed an Atlanta Police Department badge”!!
I feel like we are barely treading water. And even if Ray wins in court, the trial will destroy us financially.
The International Brotherhood of Police Organizations and the Police Benevolent Association in Georgia are both standing behind Ray. And the rank-and-file of the Atlanta Police Department support him, too.
I can’t stop my mind from racing. Will my husband have to rot in prison for the rest of his life for a crime he did not commit? Will our little baby boy ever see his daddy outside of a jail cell?
And if Ray survives the trial, how on earth will we ever pay our legal bills?
Right now we are clinging to one hope:
The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF). LELDF is an answered prayer to innocent officers like Ray. Former Attorney General Ed Meese is on their board. When the Chairman of LELDF heard about Ray’s case, he called and said he would do whatever he could to help us.
Now they are trying to raise money on Ray’s behalf -- to pay for attorneys, expert witnesses, and legal research.
Ray and I aren’t wealthy people. With five children, including a newborn baby, it’s all we can do to make ends meet.
That’s why I’m about to ask you the hardest question I’ve ever asked anyone in my life:
Will you please consider sending a gift to LELDF today to help Ray’s case?
LELDF is a non-profit organization, so your contribution is tax-deductible.
The prosecutors have unlimited funds, thanks to your tax dollars, to stack the deck against Ray in court. But Ray and I must rely only on the generous hearts of people like you.
When I look at Ray, I see the man who risked his life to protect the streets of Atlanta for 7 years. I see the man who risked his life for a year in Iraq to defend our nation.
And I see a husband so precious and a father so loving I can’t believe God blessed me with him!
I vowed on my wedding day to stand by Ray in the good times and bad. But the only way I know how to honor that vow today is by asking for your help.
Thank you so much for reading my letter. And thank you on behalf of every wife and every child of an American police officer.
I pray that no one in your family ever has to go through a nightmare like ours.
Mrs. Tracey Bunn
P.S. If what my husband did was “murder,” then sooner or later every decent police officer in this country will be put behind bars. My children and I already lost Ray for a year when he served in Iraq. But that was his choice, and a choice we fully supported. But we can’t bear to lose him again. For now, all we can do is put our trust in you and in LELDF. Thank you -– thank you! -- and may God bless you!
Lou Dobbs also had a piece tonite about two border patrol officers who are being jailed for shooting at a drug smuggler from Mexico. This is another example of our "leader" GWB bowing before his Mexican overlords and his tiny Tex-Mex Attorney General Gonzales, who prosecuted the border officers. Wish I had a link.