January 2, 2024

Profiles of Valor: End of Watch – Loren Courts

“I’m a police officer. … I’m used to the hate.”

I have written Profiles of Valor for many years — and those compositions are high on the list of the most inspirational posts we have the privilege of publishing.

While I regularly write military profiles, most often about past and current recipients of the Medal of Honor, every week I review accounts of law enforcement officers (LEOs) killed in the line of duty. The Patriot Post honors those LEOs in our “End of Watch” tributes, which we also publish on our social media platforms.

Being a police academy graduate early in my career, and having served as a uniformed police officer, my association with LEOs and agencies has continued for decades. My connection with and advocacy for our brothers and sisters on that Blue Line has never ceased.

That advocacy has been particularly important since the summer of 2020, when Joe Biden and his Democrat race-hustling cadres politicized the death of Minneapolis street thug George Floyd, a 46-year-old career criminal and perennial drug offender with a violent history. Endeavoring to enflame their (now defunct) so-called" Black Lives Matter“ radicals and their antifa movement of self-styled "anti-fascist” fascists ahead of the 2020 election (in the middle of the ChiCom Virus pandemic), they succeeded in turning Floyd into a victim, fomenting riots nationwide under the “I can’t breath” mantra.

As Booker T. Washington declared a century ago, “There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”

(For the record, if Democrats really believed that Black lives mattered, they would be focused on their failed social policies resulting in the grossly-disproportionate record of daily Black-on-Black murders and violence.)

That “summer of rage” surge of violence across our nation resulted in dozens of civilian murders, billions in damage to private and public properties, and a significant increase in assaults against police officers. That record violence spilled over into the years that followed and has yet to subside.

In due respect to thousands of officers who put their lives on the line every day, I am devoting this valor profile to one instance of the heroic actions that typify those which occur almost daily across our nation, while defending fellow officers and citizens alike.

In this case, I salute Detroit Officer Amanda Hudgens, who protected her dying partner, Loren Courts, despite imminent threat to her own life.

The incident in question was typical of those that are repeated many times each day in mostly urban centers across our nation — officers responding to a “shots fired” call. But in this case, it was an ambush.

As Hudgens recounts the tragedy: “We’ve answered thousands of shots fired runs. He looks at me and I look at him. He asked, ‘You got me?’ Always. We do our special handshake. Then, I just knew. I got you.”

She continued: “We pull in. I remember hearing the gunshots, seeing the muzzle flash, feeling the glass break, and seeing him get out of the car as I’m getting out of the car. We run, in sync – we move in sync, everything we do is in sync. He goes one way, I’m going the same. We’ve got each other, always. I see him holding his neck, and then he collapsed, and I just, I screamed a horrific scream. I couldn’t – the east side heard me. Everybody heard me. I know the city of Detroit heard me, and I just held him, and I held pressure. I remember turning around and I remember seeing the assailant. I just looked at Loren, said, ‘I love you’ – I wasn’t letting go of him, because I won’t ever let go of him, and I just held on and I turned my back. I couldn’t drag him to cover because I couldn’t let go. The only thing I could think of was to be his cover, and just hold him.”

Courts suffered a mortal wound, and as the assailant rushed Hudgens position, she kept pressure on Courts’s wound in hopes of preventing him from bleeding out. Hudgens says: “I just begged him not to go. I could feel him breathing, and then it’s slowing down, and I just started to scream, ‘Help me.’ And I feel like he was watching over me, because that’s when the other officers came, because I was bracing to get shot in my back.”

Fortunately, the 19-year old assailant was killed by other officers just before he reached Hudgens and Courts. In the previous two years he had seven other police encounters. This was another case of a Black assailant murdering a Black officer.

Detroit PD Chief James White described the incident as follows:

“[Hudgens] made a decision to put her life … on the line. I think she just prepared to die. She braced herself to be shot in the back of the head or the back while she administered first aid [to her partner]. They had no chance. They had backup. They used their training and their tactics, and the murderer shot the window out of his apartment and immediately shot the officer while he was in the car. Officer Courts, struck, attempted to gain cover, but he was already hit in a major artery. He was dying. He collapses down on the ground. His partner, Officer Hudgens, began to administer first aid. Other officers on the scene tried to give them cover. This brazen murderer, after shooting the officer, walks out of the building and proceeds toward the officers’ vehicle. Officer Hudgens has to make a decision. She wants to keep direct pressure — her training — applied to our officer’s wounds, so that he has a chance to live. Behind her is the murderer, who is walking toward her. She makes the decision to give her partner a chance to live, keeping her back to the assailant.”

White described Hudgens’s actions as “beyond hero.”

Officer Courts is survived by his wife, Kristine, his 15-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter.

Subsequently, in reference to the hatred Demos have heaped on police officers, Hudgens said: “I’m a police officer. … I’m used to the hate.”

The fact is, police officers risk their lives daily, often for those who despise them. In the wake of the Demos’ “defund the police” campaigns, and their incessant denigration of police officers in general, LEO morale has dropped precipitously as their jobs have become deadlier. And another consequence of the Left’s war on cops is that police departments now have a recruiting crisis.

In fact, according to a just-released report from the Fraternal Order of Police, there were a record 378 LEOs shot in 2023. According to the data, 46 officers were killed, 20 of whom were targeted in the 115 ambush attacks on officers. There were 138 officers shot in ambush attacks.

You will note that at the end of our editions, we say, “Join us in prayer for our nation’s Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families.” Thank you, First Responders.

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