Written by Tri-State Defender
Prior to tip-off of the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls game and FedExForum, the Memphis Police Department Color Guard was present on-court during the National Anthem.
A moment of silence was taken in memory of fallen Memphis police officer Martoyia Lang and the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT shooting throughout this week.
On Friday (Dec. 14) 20 children and six adults in Newtown lost their lives during a massive school shooting. Meanwhile, local Memphians were just digesting the news that Memphis police officer Martoyia Lang was killed while serving a warrant that morning.
Officer Lang, who served more than 12 years with the Memphis Police Department, was shot along with her partner. Both were rushed to Regional Medical Center, where Lang later died. Lang is survived by four children.
Grizz power forward Zach Randolph, a father of three was disturbed by the news as he expressed on Monday after the Chicago Bulls game.
"You know what, It's real bad," Randolph told Tri-State Defender. "Plus when you have kids -- I have kids, seven and three and in middle school and elementary. It's tough. It needs to be something done about it. Something needs to change."
Grizz forward Rudy Gay has close ties to both communities.
"Obviously, these are two cities that I have affiliations with (Memphis and Newtown)," Gay said. "I feel for the people in Connecticut and also here. Times are changing and things are happening. Its just very unfortunate that things like that happen."
Throughout the week, the American Flag will fly at half-staff in respect for the victims. On Wednesday, Dec. 19 prior to the Grizzlies match-up against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Grizzlies will be collecting cash donations for Officer Lang's family at the door with the help of volunteers from the Memphis Police Department. In addition, SunTrust has agreed to match fans' donations up to $5,000.
Also on Wednesday morning beginning at 10 a.m., a free pair of tickets for Wednesday night's game vs. Milwaukee Bucks, will be given out to the first 1,000 Memphis Police and Fire Department officers at the FedExForum Box Office, not only to honor Officer Lang, but also to thank the service men and women who protect and serve the Memphis community on a daily basis. Officers must present their government issued ID and badge.