No one knows better the danger that a tense circumstance can present than police in the United States. Constantly under pressure to control people who are guaranteed rights that provide them a wide latitude of no control, the scenarios that citizens can present range from the mundane to sheer terror, even for a trained professional. With that thought, we continue to reflect on moments in the history of law enforcement we wish we could get back, the sacrifices of those that have paid the ultimate price on our behalf.
Sergeant Jaime Primera Rodriguez
Sergeant Rodriguez had served with the United States Border Patrol in Texas for one year, before receiving his Texas Peace Officers’ License, and going to work for the Reeves County Sheriff’s Office for a few years, before joining the City of Andrews Public Safety Department as a police officer. He was also serving on the famed Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force, known for taking millions of dollars’ worth of harmful street drugs out of the hands of dealers all over the greater Midland area. On Thursday, May 16th, 2002, at approximately 10:00 a.m., Officer Rodriguez and two other task force officers were conducting a search of a Greyhound bus in Pecos. They were requesting identification from all the passengers, when Sergeant Rodriguez contacted a man who claimed not to have identification. A conversation ensued, and the man stated he could only provide his bus ticket. As Sergeant Rodriguez reviewed the ticket, he recognized that the ticket was for an entirely different bus. Sergeant Rodriguez stated as much, but as he did this, the male pulled a .380 caliber handgun from his back and fired three times, striking a female juvenile in the back, and Sergeant Rodriguez twice.
The other two officers returned fire, killing the man. His identity was never made public. Sergeant Rodriguez was airlifted to a Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, but he died in surgery. If you research Sergeant Rodriguez, there is not a lot of information out there about him. We found several sources concerning this incident, but not a lot about his life. Sometimes it’s better for the family to hold onto that part, then it is for us to know. What we can confirm is that Sergeant Rodriguez served honorably for three agencies, and didn’t deserve to die because someone involved in drug trade didn’t want to face responsibility for their own actions. Sergeant Rodriguez’ death is a reminder that simply asking for identification, one of the most basic activities that law enforcement is required to do with contacting members of the public, is dangerous. Sergeant Rodriguez is survived by his wife, and two children.
In memory of Sergeant Jaime Primera Rodriguez.