Jan 29, 2014
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The Richmond Police Department shared a “thin blue line” image on Facebook in memory of the BART police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty Jan. 21.

BART police Sgt. Tom Smith Jr. was killed by a bullet fired by a fellow officer during a search of a robbery suspect’s vacant home. The officer who pulled the trigger, Officer Michael Maes, reportedly thought Smith was an armed suspect when he opened fire, according to news reports, although officials have not confirmed that scenario.

Thousands reportedly attended a funeral today for Smith, who leaves behind his wife and 6-year-old daughter.

To honor Smith, Richmond police posted the image above. After some community members asked what it was, the department explained:

“It represents the thin blue line. We post it to honor the fallen.”

Read a full Bay Area News Group report about Smith’s funeral here.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.