MASSILLON, Ohio – The city of Massillon has offered an outpouring of support after a police officer was killed in the line of duty last week, but one letter left at a makeshift memorial for the slain officer has made people very angry, Action News' Wendy Gillette reported.
It's a story that you could have only seen on Action News.
There has been a transformation of the parking lot where policeman Eric Taylor died. It has gone from violence, loss and death to hope, support and a celebration of life. But one person dropped off a very dark message -- a letter addressed to Taylor (pictured with his wife and kids, above).
It said: "Sorry you had to die for a speeding ticket, 12 miles per hour over the limit. I'm sure that you now know it was not worth it. Perhaps your fellow revenue collectors, I mean peace officers, would do well to take a lesson from your death and think twice about stopping people who are hurting no one and merely traveling the public way."
The letter goes on to say that more police officers will die. It's signed, "for God and our constitutional republic, Capt. Emma Shlarp."
The writer claimed to be a friend of the man who shot Taylor, Don Matthews -- a known member of a militia group.
The letter has been faxed to local police departments so that officers can be on alert.
Action News talked with Harley Neftzer, the police chief in Jackson Township, who said that the letter is reason enough to worry.
"Obviously, it raises some concerns for the officers that are out there working because they're going to have this on their minds," Neftzer said.
"I can't believe they would so soon put their morals and beliefs out there in a shrine area," a policeman's wife, Dona Mitchell, said.
The Massillon Police Department has removed the letter from the memorial, but its message will likely be harder to erase from the minds of police officers still on the streets.