Montana girl writes to officer injured during Capitol riot
BILLINGS, MONT. — After a week of hearing about violence, threats of impeachment, censorship and division, there is a story about the innocence of a girl who simply wants an injured officer to feel better.
Of all of the things that happened during the riot at the Capitol last week, this sight was hard to see. Officer 4518 – helpless – pinned by a mob against a doorway. A sight of suffering that went 1,953 miles from Washington, D.C., to Billings, Montana, where little Emma Jablonski saw it all unfold on television.
“We’re thinking what could we do to let Emma express her feelings and let the officer know that she cared and that she didn’t like what she was seeing,” said Johnna Jablonski, Emma’s mom. “And so I was like, ‘how does letter sound?’ and she says, ‘perfect.'”
A letter it was. Penciled by Emma herself, complete with some art work, and posted on Twitter by her mom.
“Dear officer, I’m Emma and I’m ten years old. I hope you heal from being crushed. I feel bad for you. Those people were bad for hurting you. I hope you and your family are nice and healthy.”
On a Zoom call Tuesday, Emma got to meet Officer 4518, Daniel Hodges. He’s home recuperating. It went like this:
Officer Hodges: “I’m doing a lot better now and thank you so much for the support. It really means a lot to me and to all of the other officers out there who worked that day. Thank you. How are you doing?”
Emma: “I’m doing well. Are you okay?”
Officer Hodges: “Yeah, yeah, I’m doing alright all things considered you know. I just got a headache that won’t quit and kinda banged up. Looking forward to getting back out there. Thank you so much.”
Emma said she never thought the voice of a little girl from Montana would be heard far away in the city of Washington, D.C.
Pat Collins, NBC News