Pensacola, FL — The numbers do not lie. Police in America are the deadliest throughout the entire world. American cops kill far more than their counterparts in the rest of the world and these numbers are indisputable. One indicator that the problem has gotten out of hand is the fact that cops are killing cops. In a tragic case out of Florida this week, a police officer killed his own police chief.
Mannford police officer Michael Patrick Nealey, 49, has been arrested and charged with the murder of Mannford police chief Lucky Miller, 44. The duo traveled from the small town of Mannford, Oklahoma for a conference in Pensacola over the weekend when things took a tragic turn.
The two men were staying at the Hilton on Pensacola Beach over the weekend for a law enforcement conference, said Escambia County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Amber Southard. During their stay, authorities say an alcohol fueled brawl broke out between the pair.
On Sunday, hotel security was called because the two men were disrupting the other guests. When hotel security responded, they called the sheriff’s department because the scene had turned violent.
“An actual physical altercation,” Southard said.
According to the Escambia County Sheriff’s department, when deputies arrived on the scene, Miller was dead. Police say there was no weapon — implying that Nealey may have beaten Miller to death. An autopsy is underway.
Monday morning, Nealey was arrested and charged with killing Miller. NBC Miami reports:
Nealey was being held without bond at the Escambia County Jail. He’s charged with homicide. A lawyer for Nealey wasn’t listed on jail records and no additional details were immediately available.
Miller, 44, had been police chief since 2007. He and his wife had three children.
“We are heartbroken by the news,” Mannford Mayor Tyler Buttram said in a statement. “Please keep both families in your prayers as we work to move forward.”
In a tragic twist of irony, the conference which the pair was attending was to teach officers about death scene investigations. It is unclear if the conference will continue given the fact that there is now an actual death scene to investigate.
“Mike Nealey was our detective. Lucky was a hands-on guy, so he always wanted to be there to learn things like that,” Officer Jerry Ridley, who has been made the interim chief, said.
After the news of the murder broke, officials in Mannford were quick to praise both officers, going so far as to call Nealey a “great man.”
“Lucky was a great man, but I’ll be honest, so was Officer Nealey. Those two were the best of friends. Where one was, the other one was. They were always together,” said Mannford Mayor Tyler Buttram.
“We ask that everybody pray for both families because two families have been devastated by this horrible tragedy. They do not understand what’s going on. None of this makes sense,” Buttram said. “Not one single person can fathom the thought of any of this. It’s so confusing.”
Mannford Town Administrator Gerald Haury has named officer Jerry Ridley as interim police chief, according to the news release.
“I can’t understand it. Lucky was a friend, a mentor, a leader, a police officer and a family man,” Ridley told Tulsa World. He loved his family to death. He liked to go take his kids and go ride dirt bikes. He had two boys and a girl. She could ride a dirt bike better than all of the others.”
Sadly, his wife and children are now without their husband and father.