Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrol Officer Sean Laura

Markham Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Saturday, September 20, 1997

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Patrol Officer Sean Laura

Hi Sean,
Wow its almost 26 years since you have left this earth. I know your at peace now because Aunt Pat is in heaven with you she is no longer suffering on this earth, I miss you so much your cool personality and your wonderful smile. You persuaded your dream, and you were taken from our family too soon. I Love you Always & Forever.
Your cousin, Edna L Laura. Continue to RIP

Edna L Laura
1st cousin

March 9, 2023

Officer Laura,
On today, the 25th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Markham. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

September 20, 2022

Rest in peace always and know that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 20, 2020

Man til this day this still hurts from grade school to adults family is what we were we all was so proud of you.. You were always a stand up guy that kept a big grin on your face anytime anyone saw you but one thing is for sure you definitely was going to try and make a difference and be of example to our youth always loving and missing you Lil bro 23 years always asking why you! Until we see each other again continue to rest easy my friend.

Sammie Brown Jr
Childhood friend

May 28, 2020

Well Sean been a few since I last wrote here. I just read the one from Sam (2014) the night all of this happened, We backed up each other near Circle and Richmond just before it all started. It was aging fight, and you mentioned "where's the officer his zone blowing up. I asked you, "What zone are you?" You responded "over east " The last thing I said to you " We are getting gas for the squad, you get to your zone so it doesn't blow up and we are helping you." We all laughed, And we said once we get gas see over east. That never happened, it started shortly after that.

Sean, you are really missed by many, and respected by and mainly loved by all. Great man, Great Friend and Outstanding Police Officer.

Kevin Wright
Norfolk Southern PD/ Markham PD

April 26, 2020

When I learned of what happened to you that day my heart was and is broken I find myself thinking about when we went out on a few dates and had a lot of laughs, I can still hear you calling me Cynthia which you were the only 1 who did. Yes that is why this is my license plate on my car I had since the 90's. I remember going to see you for the last time and I almost didn't make it while walking up to you laying in the casket. Tears were coming down non stop and I remember how kind your mom was to me, I think of you and her often send me signs Sean I MISS YOU!!!! Until God wants I will see ya when I am supposed to :(
Love you!!!


January 9, 2020

22 years.

Never forget.

Salute, my friend.

Lt. Samuel Harris #328
Markham (IL) Police Department

September 20, 2019

Rest in peace Patrol Officer Laura.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

April 15, 2019

Wow, think of you still often. Taken away from us so suddenly and so unexpected, its been years and it still feels like yesterday. You'd be surprised of how your name comes up still in conversations. When friends make such a deep lasting impression in your soul, they never ever leave your memories. I still see your headstone when I go visit my my mom....and dad now. I have to keep it real, it really hurts me to go to the cemetery to see them or you, or anyone for that matter. The cemetery is soothing for some people, but I find myself upset an angry when I look down at the ground at tombstones and its a constant reminder you guys aren't here with me anymore. I know that is the selfish side of me but I miss my parents more than words can say, I miss my friend and I wonder so much how things would be right now in life in God had't had other plans for you. Would you be married to one of my friends, would you have a bunch of kids, man, it makes me always cherish all my friendships so much more. Love you and miss you still....Merry Christmas hun!!

Close Friend

December 18, 2018

Dear Sean,
Today makes 21 years you became an angel, this is one of the saddest days of my life. September is a hard month for me I have lost quite a few loved ones this month. I miss you so much I try to keep in touch with everyone its so hard between work & seeing about my Mama, she has cancer. I think about how wonderful you are. How many children would you have. Would your wife love you as much as we do. Our lives are not the same without you. I love you always, Edna

Edna L. Laura cousin
Edna L. Laura cousin

September 20, 2018

Rest in heaven brother in blue!

Deputy Pharoah M. Halbert
Cook County Sheriff's Office, Cook County, Illinois

December 21, 2017

Officer Laura's story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 3-7-17 to remember and honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan

March 8, 2017

I spent Father's Day with your mom and dad. I spend the weekend with the both of them once a month when I come from southern Illinois. Mom and dad are truly a blessing. They are crazy about my son, your nephew, little Sean. I bring Little Sean by with me and we watch the old western television shows with your parent. We celebrate your legacy with every conversation. I will always be there for them as I promised!!

Your brother,
Tim Tyler


July 1, 2016

Dear Sean,
I miss you so much. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about you. The Family is doing fine, we don't get together like family should, but we keep in touch. I hope your happy in heaven because you are truly an angel. You were one when you was here on earth. One day we will see each other again. I love you always!

Edna L. Laura

May 21, 2016

What's up, young man. Time flies. Last month would've been your 20th anniversary on the force as well as that 'other' anniversary. 18 years have come and gone since that night. I went to work on your anniversary but I didn't stay. I held afternoon shift roll call, gave out assignments and as I listened to the officers talk among themselves, it struck me that the most senior patrolman started in 2007. No one mentioned your name. Did anyone care? Nope. They had to walk past your memorial on the wall to come to roll call. I thought about mentioning that it was the 18th anniversary and holding a moment of silence but looking out over the room and having supervised these guys for two years as a sergeant, I felt like a parent attempting to tell my kids about a heroic relative who died valiantly whom they've never met and being met with just blank stares or contrived attentiveness. In this new world dominated by smartphones and social media, all they care about is continuing a running text conversation or monitoring Facebook. I can't even be mad at them. It's the world they grew up in. Technology has made the last 20 years seem like 50. 1995 might as well have been 1965.

Anyway, it was a very lonely feeling standing at the podium so I just ended roll call as quick as I could and sent them on the street.
Once they were on the street, I just stood at the back of the station thinking about the good ol' days when we were young, fire-breathing cops who couldn't wait to get on the street and hit the hot spots. It's not like that anymore with most of these guys. It's just a paycheck to them.

Thinking about how much they don't care about the job and how you lost your life for the job, I didn't want to be there that night, especially being on a weekend night (Sunday). I knew once the sun set and the clock began ticking towards 1910 hours, the memory of that horrible night, laughing with you one moment and seeing you lying unresponsive in the street an hour later, would've became too much. I didn't want to take the chance of sitting at a red light and crying like a 2-month-old in my patrol unit like I did did a couple of years ago. So I got permission to go home and turned the shift over to the senior officer.

I saw your parents yesterday. Your mom is not doing well. The MS is tearing her up. It broke my heart. It's such a helpless feeling, not very much unlike seeing you lying on that emergency room table. Nothing I can do. But I was glad she was able to talk to me and she was glad to see me. I felt guilty because I thought about the strength and energy she had to summon to come down stairs to see me. She said she was fine but I knew she was in great discomfort. I had to blink several times just to keep a tear from escaping my eyes.

I had good news for her. A fundraiser was held to honor you and other fallen officers from the area. I was given a plaque to give to your parents. I have to apologize but that pissed me off. I said your mother has enough plaques and memorabilia given to her all these years. She's very sick and her medication isn't cheap. I didn't donate and solicit donations to give her another plaque. That was a couple a months ago. Yesterday morning, I got a call from the organizer I spoke with out of the blue. He told me that he's going to present a check for $500 to your parents. I was stunned. I thanked Jesus and apologized to him for my rudeness over the plaque. He was very understanding and said no apology was needed. Yayyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!

I'm also getting a guy to shape up the landscaping at the house. The grass gets cut every two weeks but the hedges and bushes looked awful. Your mom always kept the house looking nice and your pops is getting older. It should be good until the spring and I'll make sure the landscaping is taken care of from now on.

Someone told me it was nice what I was doing to look out for your mom but I don't see it that way. I don't think I've done enough. I don't think I could ever do enough and feel good about it. I can't give your mom her only child back. You had my back so many times out there. I remember fighting that guy in the house on Oxford to arrest him by myself and you just happened to pull up, I yelled your name, "SEAN!" and you ran in there. I remember that other time I was off duty up at Micasa's getting drunk with Tyler and someone runs into the bar yelling, "They fighting outside!" Instead of telling them to call 911, our dumbasses go out there to break it up. I'm drunk and going back and forth with this guy in the parking lot. You were working that night and when you got there, you grabbed me and walked me away, saying, " Man, you don't need no trouble." Now, that's a friend when they save you from yourself.

I couldn't be there for you that terrible night. I couldn't get there fast enough. I tried but it was too late. I remember going to your house the next day with Tyler to see your mom and we're crying like babies and apologizing for not being able to save you. We were older. We were on the street two years before you got on. We showed you the ropes, challenged you and you accepted the challenge. @#$%! I felt like and still feel like I failed your mother. I didn't even know you were in a chase that night with those old raggedy brick radios that didn't work. Kevin heard it and we shot over there and ...... dammit, why didn't you wait for us? LOL, I already know the answer. I would've done the same thing. I don't know how many times I used to get yelled at by every one of my supervisors for not waiting for backup.

Now, as a supervisor, I find myself watching over young, aggressive officers like we used to be and telling them to be careful. I even get after our chief when he's out there making traffic stops in plainclothes with no vest and wearing Sunday shoes.

Well, Sean, forgive me for going on and on. I promised you at your grave that I would never forget. At least not until I've taken my last breath. That night was my 9-11. I'll see you when I see you, my friend.

Sgt. Samuel Harris #428
Markham (IL) Police Department

October 10, 2015

I hope it's OK that I'm not a police officer. Sean and I used to work together at Hammacher Schlemmer on Michigan Avenue in shipping and receiving before he became a police officer for Markham. I don't even know when we lost touch, but I read one officer's post about hanging out at White Castle -- Sean and I went there on our first and only date! Every now and then I think of him. I almost called Markham PD just to see if he was still on the force . . .I really had no idea he was no longer with us, and that it happened so long ago. My heart goes out to all of his family, friends, and law enforcement brothers/sisters.

Jennifer Howard
Former co-worker

March 9, 2015

17 years! Wow! Has it been that long? September 20, 1997, 1910 hours, 155th and Myrtle. That was my 9-11, a day that changed my life forever. Going to the National Police Memorial to see your name on the wall is on my bucket list but I'll probably wait until I'm retired. I can't bring myself to go now. I fear that rush of overwhelming emotion, that mental time-machine ride that would put me back in that horrible moment. I'm almost 50 and it still ranks as the most horrific moment of my life.

You would've been 42 this year. If you were here, we'd probably be giving each other the business about who has the most gray hair or who has the best car or truck or who became a sergeant first. Lord help us if one of us became the other's boss. LOL. Yeah, we'd still be silly, middle-aged men talking smack all day and everyday.

You'd probably still be a ladies man with eight girlfriends and all of them thinking they're the one. I remember laughing to myself at your funeral and seeing your girlfriends scattered around the church. I don't know how many times I've been stopped over the years by some young lady (well, now middle-aged woman) asking if I knew you. They would tell me about how you were their 'boo' and I resisted the urge to say, "and what number in line were you?"

But you may have settled down with one woman like I have the last few years. It's still weird talking about you in the past tense. Sometimes I wonder if you were the more fortunate one dying so young. You'll be forever 25 while the rest of us grapple with getting older and scrutinizing the mirror daily trying to find some semblance of youth, engaged in a love-hate relationship with a new reality: gray hair. LOL.

I know one thing you would've loved are the badass police Chargers we drive now. We've come a long way from those old, raggedy Crown Vics of the '90s, though my favorite car remains that one '94 Chevy Caprice with the Corvette engine we bought. I got to drive it once when it was brand new in my second year on the force. The veteran officer who let me drive it quickly took it back when he saw me doing figure-8's in it in the parking lot. I'm looking forward to the newly redesigned 2015 Charger that comes out next year. We could not have imagined driving sports cars as police cars back in the day.

Well, my Brother, I had to write something on this day. This year, it's not a sad day. That comes and goes. Some years, I cry like a baby. Other years, I laugh and smile at the memories of the fun times we had on the street.

Be good in the Lord's Hands and I'll see ya when I see ya!

Sgt. Samuel Harris #428
Markham (IL) Police Department

September 20, 2014

Well Sean,

It has been years since this tragic chain of events. The feeling of loss and pain are still just as hard and deep, as the night I stood at the scene. They say time heals all, Well that is not true, We just recover from it a little faster.

You are not forgotten. Keep watch over us.

Kevin Wright

Former Sergeant Orland Hills/ Markham

Read more:

Supervisory Agent Kevin Wright
Norfolk Southern RR Police

March 9, 2013

I think about you always, I miss you so.... Love you

Toni Kimball
Someone who loved you

February 27, 2013

Rest in Peace, Officer Laura. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 29, 2013

(Forever) Young Sean,

Boy! it's coming up on 15 years. This is my first entry; and despite the passage of time, I'm sitting here crying like a baby. I was talking to Sam not long ago about our "sue me" shift. The two of us are the only ones left on the department from that shift. Some have gone on to bigger and better things, some just gone.
So many things have changed within the department, you would hardly recognize it. But I guess that's life; things change, you move on....

I think back to that day, almost 15 years ago. You got off at 8 that Saturday morning, I was just starting my shift. We talked for a little while, couldn't talk long because you had to be back at 4. At 4, a change of shifts. We can't talk again because I'm doing a last minute report and you have a call to respond to. But we joke a little (we always joked-You would always call me Ms. Freeman like it was the funniest thing you'd ever heard. I called you Young Sean), you walked out the door with that smile. Always that smile....

Given that it's a time of reflection, I just want to tell you how much I respected you as an officer and as a young man. Your mom did a great job in raising you. I really miss you. I have no doubt you would have been one of the ones who went on the bigger and better things. Keep that smile......

Sgt.Lynette (Ms) Freeman
Markham Police

September 12, 2012

I'm at school and the instructor is showing videos on fallen officers. I just went to Dwight Ligon's Jr.'s funeral. I'm pretty sure you two are already met. Please teach him the ropes about being an angel.

I look forward to seeing you again one day soon. I visited your Mom for Mother's Day. She's doing great. Got a beautiful smile. Of course you know.

Brother, I miss you and wish you was still here. It still hurts like your death was yesterday.

I love you forever,

Master Sergeant Tim Tyler
Illinois State Police

May 18, 2012

I'm sitting here fighting a stream of tears on this 14th anniversary. I thought the tears were all dried up after all this time but when I think of that terrible moment on that fall night, everything comes rushing back to the surface and hits me like a runaway freight train. I'm whisked away in a time machine and I'm there, at 155th and Myrtle in Harvey, seeing you lying there in the street, not responding to me and I'm screaming at the top of my lungs for you to say something. You know me, I'm a force of nature, I'm going to make lightning strike, "Dammit, say something! This is your boy!" You might not respond to anyone else but you're going to respond to me. I'm trying to shout life back into you. This cannot happen. Not now. Not like this. I'm not ready for this.


And there I am, standing over you, fighting anyone who tried to pull me away. You wrong for that, Sean. We were supposed to spend many years being the heroes for Markham citizens. That was our job and we love absolutely loved it. We both had opportunities to leave, had much to offer any police department. But you had to go. I couldn't get there in time. Dammit! I wasn't even aware you were involved in anything. I'm out there with Kevin giving clowns hell on the street as tactical officers. My crappy radio wasn't working so I didn't hear anything until Kevin said we had to drop what we were doing because you were in a chase in zone 384. We're going to Harvey. "What the hell is he doing in Harvey?" I thought. Harvey ain't saying nothing. Not, "Officer down!" Nothing. It was just an unusual silence over the air until Ramon keys up and tells us to turn around and stay in town. Why the hell would he say that? You're not answering your radio and he's knows I'm coming. We're at 159th and Dixie. I look at Kevin and say, "Lets get over there and see what the hell is going on."

I get there. I see the fire trucks, paramedics and police cars. Kevin runs off. I'm just kind of standing there thinking, "Oh, somebody had an accident. Ok, so where's Sean?" Kevin runs up to me frantically, "Sam, its Sean." I'm like, "What the f--k you mean its Sean." Then I look up the street and life as I knew it changed forever. There you are lying in the street with your left pants leg ripped open and your left leg bruised. I run up to you screaming, "Sean! Sean! Sean!" People were trying to pull me away and I'm like, "Dammit, that's Sean!" As if no one knew that was you but me.

I break away and run up the street. I just had to be alone. I felt like I couldn't breathe. This is not happening. I squat down looking at the ground and reality set in. My boy is gone. It was like being dropped in the middle of a nightmare. I wanted to wake up but I was already woke. You got run over by a Harvey unit coming to assist you. I was so angry with you for not being careful. You know how clumsy you could be.

To this day, I haven't heard the tape of what incident. Don't want to. I heard that when the Harvey unit keyed up as he arrived at the scene, two bumps could be heard in the background. That's when he ran over you and you got pinned under his car. My God, I can't imagine what that moment was like for you. It was probably over in an instant and that's somewhat comforting knowing that it was quick and you didn't suffer.

So much has changed the past 14 years. I was 32 in my fifth year on the street. Now, I'm 46 in my 19th year. We have officers now who were just kids back then. We have so many officers now on some days, on some shifts where we might have 10 or 12 officers on the street at one time. Back then, it was just you and Ramon in uniform, Kevin and I in plainclothes and Lieutenant Clayton.

You have been honored on the first page of our new Policy and Procedures manual. A nice touch by our new chief Mack Sanders. He's young, about 35, but a good guy. You would've liked him. What touched me is Mack wasn't even on the force on that day. He was hired a year later. He didn't know you. Never met you. But he honored your memory and that means a lot to me and especially your mother. There are only nine of us left who were on the force that night.

Well, I gotta get to work. Its five in the morning. You know this date couldn't have came and went without me feeling it. I feel bad that I hadn't left a message in two years. That's my job til the day I die. I told you I will never forget. I won't let you be forgotten. The younger officers might get tired of hearing me talk about you and that night. Its hard for them to relate when they haven't been through it and I don't wish that on them. I just tell them to look out after each other and be careful.

I kicked myself for a long time blaming myself for maybe pushing you too hard, challenging you and if I hadn't, maybe you wouldn't have taken that chance. But you know what, you were doing what you loved, what I still love, and putting ourselves in harm's way is just part of the deal we accept. I remember us joking about my funeral, that I was going to be the first to go because I was the crazy one and the gangbangers and dopedealers would come to my funeral just to make sure it was me. LOL!

But this day is about you, Brother. I'm sure you're on the minds of Tyler, Kevin, Free, Alexander and Ramon. I found this quote on the Internet that reminded me of us and those like us.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - Wow! What a Ride!"

So should my day come, Brother, you know you better get out of the way because you know I'm coming down the chute like a boulder that fell off the edge of a cliff, laughing all the way. I wouldn't have it any other way!

Rest in peace, my friend. Yeah, I'm crying like a wuss. So what. Kiss my a--! BIG SMILE! I'll see ya when I see ya!

Officer Samuel Harris, #528
Markham [IL] Police Department

September 20, 2011

My my Sean, where has the time gone? It just seems like the other day I was trying to get you into the Markham Tac unit with Sam and I. Remember the night you ate my chicken dinner. All you said was " Sam told me too." We laughed and then tune Sam up the lack of respect the police get and how he got mad then arrested people. The place has changed in many ways, It is hard to believe I would have been eligble to retire this past summer. It seems we all have had a hard time of adjustment since your passing, but you are remembered deeply and not forgotten

Kevin Wright
Special Agent/ Former Markham Sgt

December 10, 2009

Yo, Sean. I realized I hadn't left a reflection this year. Its been a busy year at the department. I saw Tim with his wife the other day at a restaurant. Everytime I see him, I think about the three of us, 'The Three Amigos', and how one of us is missing.

I got into a foot chase yesterday, some guy I was about to arrest for driving suspended. Dude just took off running. We caught him about three blocks away. He said he ran because he was scared he was going to miss court for a gun case. The witnesses clapped when we walked him back in handcuffs and saying how exciting it was to watch. People think this stuff is cool and exciting. Its not, because when you're chasing someone, you don't know how its going to end. Why is he running? Does he have a gun? Is he going to take a shot at me? If I catch him, will it be a fight to the death? You just don't know. All you can do is try to be careful.

You know I think of you everytime I have to chase someone. When this guy ran Wednesday, I'm running across Kedzie, then 163rd Street, trying to keep an eye on him and thinking, "Watch the cars whizzing by." Then he's running through back yards, hurdling fences and I'm thinking, "I'm getting to old for this 'stuff'. You don't know if there's a rottweiler or pit bull in the back yard. Just crazy. But at the same time, I can't stop until I catch him.

When it was over, I felt good about myself. I'm still in pretty good shape because I wasn't about to pass out. Its good to be tested every while in a while. It keeps you on your toes. I love the street. I love that line about pain lets you know you're not dead. I think if I ever became a police chief, I'd never be in the office. I'd stay in the street getting after people or teaching the young guys or walking the neighborhoods talking to the citizens.

Time flies by, when I last saw you, I was in my fifth year, still relatively new. Now, its my 17th year. I remember someone saying when I first hit the street, 'Oh, you one of those New Jack Cops'. Now, I'm 'Old School', like I'm some dinosaur.

I'm running the traffic division and I tell you, its hard finding young cops who were like we were, no excuses, get it done. They have more equipment and cars than we ever had back in the day and we got it done working with almost nothing. These young guys find every excuse. I'm still looking to groom someone to take over when I slow my roll because I know I can't do what I do forever.

Man, Sean, being the police was in our DNA. We looked forward to coming to work, hated to call off sick and couldn't wait to hit the street after roll call. Now, you have to push some of these guys out the door because they prefer to sit around socializing, gossiping or complaining.

I remember working hurt, with a black eye, a sprained ankle, too proud to call off. I don't remember you ever calling off. I accidentally got maced in the face and I refused to go home. You blow on some of these new guys now and they're chilling on I.O.D. for months. Maybe we were just nuts and they have better sense than we did. There just aren't many cops in it for the love of the game anymore. Its a new day.

To us and those like us. Wish you were here, Brother.

Never forget.

See ya when I see ya.

Samuel Harris
Markham (IL) Police Department

December 4, 2009

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.