One day after the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police sent a letter to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings asking him not to attend this year's police memorial event, the father of an officer killed in last July's ambush shooting is speaking out.
Enrique Zamarripa's son, Patrick Zamarripa, died in the July 7 shootings downtown. Enrique Zamarripa says he is concerned about the morale within the Dallas Police Department.
Enrique Zamarripa read a letter Wednesday that the Dallas FOP president sent to Rawlings, which says fallen officers' widows, police retirees and current officers are suffering under the mayor's watch.
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"This is their livelihood, police officers. They sacrificed a lot," said Zamarripa.
Some officers sacrificed their life, including Zamarripa's son, who was one of the five killed on July 7, 2016.
"It's been living a nightmare, 24/7. Everyday just a new day, same thing – I think about what has happened and I get real depressed, real hurt," Zamarripa said.
Patrick Zamarripa was a husband and father to a little girl, now 3-and-a-half years old.
Because of the ongoing Dallas police and fire pension battle, Enrique Zamarripa thinks about what the future looks like for many families of Dallas police officers.
Patrick Zamarripa's widow didn't want to be interviewed, but according to the FOP letter, several widows of the slain Dallas Police asked that the mayor not be present at the ceremony because they, along with current officers and retirees are "suffering," according to the FOP letter.
The letter also cites low pay and officers leaving in record numbers. Zamarripa says if his son were here today, he believes he would agree with the FOP's request.
"Take care of our officers. They take care of us. While we're asleep, they're out doing the dirty work," he said.
Mayor Rawlings had no direct response to the letter but tells NBC 5 that he will be attending the event.
"Mr. Rawlings, I challenge you to fix this, fix it right, fix it for the police officers. They deserve this," Zamarripa said.
"Do it for the five officers that got killed and their families," he added.
The Dallas Police Memorial Event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 17, in downtown Dallas.