• Mr. Speaker, another peace officer has been targeted and killed.
  • Late Sunday night, Kentucky State Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder made a routine traffic stop. He pulled over the suspect who as it turns out was driving with a suspended license. The trooper was going to arrange for an overnight stay for the man and his fellow passengers, which included two children, but this plan never came to fruition.
  • This stop would prove fatal. Suddenly, the driver sped away and the chase began.
  • For nine miles, Trooper Ponder pursued the criminal. Then, the criminal's car made a hasty and abrupt stop. The trooper's vehicle smashed into the back of the criminal's getaway car.
  • The criminal emerged from the vehicle and fired intently at the officer. Bullets scattered around the hood and windshield and hit the officer.
  • Ponder was struck multiple times.
  • The armed criminal fled, this time on foot.
  • And a manhunt was underway for the killer.
  • Helicopters manned the sky as officers and canines manned the ground and wooded areas.
  • The criminal was spotted. He refused to drop his weapon and instead hatefully pointed it straight at police. The criminal was taken down.
  • The trooper passed away at the hospital later that night.
  • This story is becoming all too common. Officers are being targeted just because of the car they drive and the uniform they wear. This war on police must stop.
  • Trooper Ponder graduated from the police academy in January and was working in Trigg County.
  • He was a Navy veteran and just 31 years old.
  • On the Kentucky State Police Facebook page, tributes fill the comment section.
  • One stands out, from Ponder's sister.
  • It reads:
  • ``Thank you for all the kind words. My brother was the best man in the world and did not deserve what happened to him. Please pray for us, this was an enormous loss.''
  • A loss that is felt around the country, as our nation continues to mourn fallen peace officers.
  • Kentucky State Trooper Joseph Ponder will not be forgotten.
  • As I have said many times before, those who wear the badge--the shield over their heart--represent the best of our communities.
  • Our gratitude goes to Trooper Ponder for his selfless service both to our country and our community.
  • We continue to pray for police. They are the silent safe guardians who protect our cities, neighborhoods and schools. They are the men and women of the thin blue line between the law and the lawless.
  • And that's just the way it is.