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US marshal remembers slain friend, talks about job dangers

Posted July 4, 2011

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— Last month, the dangers of law enforcement were realized in Kinston, where a member of the U.S. Marshals’ Violent Fugitive Task Force was killed while serving a murder warrant.

Scott Parker, the U.S. Marshal for the eastern district of North Carolina, knows the risks of law enforcement better than most. He recommended that Nash County Deputy Warren Lewis join the task force, a job that ultimately cost Lewis his life.

On June 9, Lewis went to a house on West Lenoir Avenue to serve outstanding warrants for murder, authorities said, when someone opened fire as he and a marshal approached the house.

Lewis, 38, died in the shooting. He left behind a wife and two daughters – ages 14 and 11.

“It hit me square in the face,” Parker said. “I think about it every day … He always will be missed, and I think each day when we go out and do our jobs, he’ll be on our minds.”

Lewis was one of several task force officers killed in the U.S. this year.

“This is a violent fugitive task force. The people they go after may have committed murders, rapes, robberies or other violent crimes,” Parker said. “These people, mostly, have already made the decision (that) they are not going back to jail.”

The risk to law enforcement in the U.S. is growing, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a website dedicated to fallen law enforcement officers. So far this year, 40 police officers have been shot to death in the U.S. – a 38 percent increase over last year, according to the website.

With every door they knock on and every prisoner they arrest, there is always a chance something could go wrong, Parker said.

“We all have to deal with it in our own way,” he said.

Lewis, known as “Sneak,” spent three years on the fugitive task force. Four people are charged with murder in connection with his death.

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  • ProudBlackSingleMother Jul 6, 2011

    Yup.

  • dontgetmestarted Jul 5, 2011

    ProudBlackSingleMother...really?! Too many people seem to want to bash LEO's for the actions of the relative FEW that abuse their authority. I assure you LEO's such as this fine man who gave his life for ALL of us detest those officers as much as the rest of us as they make their jobs even harder and deadlier.

    Maybe the "subjects" need to remember the risks THEY take when they commit a crime or somehow bring suspicion to themselves. I am aware that innocent people are arrested at times, no one is perfect, but I assure you it's the rare exception NOT the rule. If society would shun the criminals instead of the officers who take that BIG RISK for us daily things would be a little better.

    Honestly, when will people STOP making excuses and trying to protect the criminals and start giving our HEROS the respect and gratitude they DESERVE?!

  • crustyhalo Jul 5, 2011

    proudblacksinglewhatever...you are OUT OF LINE..wrong place wrong time

  • Wendellcatlover Jul 5, 2011

    Thank God there are those who are willing to risk themselves for the rest of us. Rest in peace Deputy Lewis.

  • ProudBlackSingleMother Jul 4, 2011

    Too many people in the law enforcement community forget that this is daily risk while other officers make it their duty to keep that from happening by getting way too extreme while dealing with subjects.

    They need to remember that they took a big risk when they took an oath.

  • haplazac Jul 4, 2011

    This man was just in astore where i was a day before this and seeing his badge i thanked him for being out there for me . I am glad I said something to him now . I always thak poliece officers for the job they do . people just do not seem to understand the risks they take for us . They seem to forget poliece officers and what this world would be like with out them .