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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

In Memory of Deputy Danny Oliver and Detective Michael Davis

November 18, 2014

In Memory of Deputy Danny Oliver and Detective Michael Davis
House Chambers, Washington, D.C.
November 18, 2014

Mr. Speaker:

    On October 24, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Detective Michael David Davis were wantonly gunned down in one of the most cold-blooded rampages in the history of either county.

    By all accounts, these were exemplary law enforcement officers, fathers, husbands, sons and neighbors.  

    Deputy Oliver spoke his last words as he approached a car in a parking lot for the simple purpose of asking if he could help a couple who appeared to be lost.  “How’s it going?” he said.  

    The gunman and his female accomplice next gunned down a bystander who was too slow in turning over his car keys as the couple hijacked his car.  Miraculously, the bystander survived a gunshot to the head – but vividly remembers the smile on the gunman’s face as he pulled the trigger.  

    The next victim was Detective Michael Davis.  You may have heard of him.  On the very same date 26 years earlier, Michael Davis’s father was killed in the line of duty as a Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy.  Davis was 16 years old at the time.  

    Mr. Speaker, I wish there were some words of consolation to offer these grieving families of Danny Oliver and Michael Davis, but there are limits to our language and words fail us when they are needed most.  

    But I know this: the esteem and gratitude that our communities hold for these two officers – and the sympathy we feel for the terrible loss their families have sustained -- could be seen most vividly and eloquently in the solemn faces of literally THOUSANDS of ordinary citizens who lined the funeral route for these officers or who stood silent vigil outside the church where they were mourned.

    As I looked at the law enforcement officers from throughout the country who came to honor these fallen peace officers at their funerals, it occurred to me that Deputy Oliver and Detective Davis and their many brothers and sisters in law enforcement -- are the business end of all the highest principles of this amazing Republic of ours – a society that proudly proclaims itself a nation of laws.

    We often speak of the rule of law – but who among us is willing to lay down our lives for it?  Michael Davis was.  Danny Oliver was. Because of their sacrifice, this rampage ended without a single civilian death.  

    They protected us, but did we do everything we could to protect them?  Their assailant had repeatedly entered this country illegally.  While here, he had been apprehended for committing other crimes and repeatedly deported, only to easily re-cross the border without even being challenged.

        That is a subject for another day.  On this day, we should reflect on the agony of the Oliver and Davis families who have lost devoted husbands and fathers.  We should reflect on the extraordinary courage of our peace officers who bear tremendous and growing risks every day to protect the peace we too often take for granted. 

         Michael Davis’s brother Jason Davis eulogized his older brother.  Jason is also a Placer County Deputy, who was on the scene only minutes after his brother had been shot.   Their third brother, Christopher, had died in 1998 in an accident as he, too had been preparing for a career in law enforcement.

    And Jason, who had been present 26 years before when his mother was told of his father’s death; who 16 years ago informed their mother of Chris’s death and who had days before told her of Michael’s death, looked at his grieving mother then asked the question if all their pain justified their family’s commitment to law enforcement.  Without hesitation, he answered, “Yes.”

    I don’t know where we get men like Danny Oliver and Michael Davis, but I know what we owe them.  Of course we owe them our gratitude and every honor we can bestow on them.  But most of all, we owe it to them, to their families, and to their fellow officers, to be just as devoted to the rule of law as they were.

    If we, the People, will do that, then we will have proven Jason Davis right – that their extraordinary devotion to these principles is as justified as it is noble.   

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