To the editor,
The news of the shooting of Robbie Ramirez came as a shock to this town. It was not something any of us ever truly expected to happen. Sure, we knew about Derek Colling’s past, and we were certainly afraid that it could happen again. But no one was really prepared for it to actually take place in our small, quiet city.
This event has shook me and my family to our core. We didn’t know Robbie personally. But we do know his mother and two uncles. They have been extraordinarily kind to us, and have taken an empathetic stance when we faced hard times.
Knowing these three people, and the goodness they bestow on others, coupled with everything that Robbie did for the community, has led me to believe Robbie was just as kind and good. Which is why I will never understand how a simple traffic stop turned so deadly. From my view, it was senseless and callous, and never should have happened. Derek Colling prides himself on being the “best of the best” in every field. He has a black belt in martial arts. So how is it that an unarmed, mentally-ill man, who just wanted to get home and stay out of law enforcement’s way, was such a threat to such an accomplished officer? It doesn’t add up.
Another thing that doesn’t add up: how the county can justify keeping Derek Colling on the force when he has killed 3 people and was fired from his previous job in Nevada for beating up a citizen who was breaking no laws? How can they look the people in this town in the eyes and tell us that we are safe?
These are all questions that myself, and many others in Laramie would like answered. And not just answered; we want them dealt with.
Amanda Barnes, co-founder of ACOPP, Laramie