Trooper Who Shared Meal with Homeless Woman Has Been Relieved of Duty


God ordains government for good, and its magistrates bear the sword to punish evil, according to Romans Chapter 13 of the New Testament.

Massachusetts has been blessed with some sterling representatives of law enforcement (Romans also referring to them as “ministers”).

There’s State Trooper Luke Bonin, who was seen in a viral photograph five years ago sharing a lunch he bought with a homeless woman. There’s Trooper Jonathan McClure, who served 10 years without a single blemish on his record. And there’s Trooper Samantha Cilla, who joined the Massachusetts State Police 14 years after her trooper father was killed in the line of duty.

Bonin, McClure, Cilla.

All three have lost their badges, their jobs and their pensions — because they refused to take the mRNA injection under a required COVID vaccine mandate.

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Just like medical professionals who fought COVID hand-to-hand, firefighters who protected us while we were banished to our homes and transportation workers who made sure we had food and other goods in the midst of the crisis, quality Massachusetts troopers are being shown the door instead of being showered with gratitude.

It’s because of the power grabs, the misinformation, the lies and the greed surrounding one of the greatest crises our nation — and the world — has faced in the last two years.

And that crisis is not so much about COVID, as tragic as that has been for some individuals and families.

It’s been the crisis of government response to it — as in Massachusetts, where Republican Gov. Charles Baker ordered a vaccination mandate: your jab or your job.

Baker’s order affected Trooper Bonin.

Someone photographed Bonin in 2016 dressed in a suit following a court appearance, sitting on the bumper of a patrol car and eating lunch with a panhandler in Fall River.

He had seen a homeless woman, so he went to Sonic to buy two lunches and came back to where the woman was. Spotting the patrol car, she thought she was about to be ordered to move on, but she quickly learned Bonin just wanted to share a meal and conversation.

Despite Bonin’s reticence toward publicity, Massachusetts was proud of him.

The Massachusetts State Police posted the photo on their Facebook page, saying: “Yes, Trooper Bonin … We know you didn’t want to be noticed, but you were, and the job is proud of you … We have extraordinary troopers on the Massachusetts State Police who conduct themselves honorably, and perform selfless acts, every day. Most times, it goes unnoticed. But not this day.”

But he’s a hero no more; the state fired him.

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In October, Bonin was a guest on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” discussing the vaccine mandate from Gov. Baker. “One of the things that concerned me about that particular commentary is he went on to say that getting the vaccine is the right thing to do.

“The problem with that is the opposite of the right thing is the wrong thing. And what he has essentially said is that not getting the vaccine is the wrong thing to do.

“However, there are hundreds of members of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, of which I’m a member, who have sincerely held religious beliefs that preclude them from being able to take the vaccine, medical problems that may preclude them from being able to take the vaccine. And those who just have simply deeply rooted moral and ethical convictions, who can’t see themselves taking the vaccine, and I find it, frankly, offensive that we’re being told, that’s wrong.”

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Meanwhile, McClure — the trooper with a spotless 10-year record, who received a Medal of Lifesaving award for risking his own life to save a man hanging on a bridge — appears on a video as two troopers serve him apparent termination papers in front of his wife, children and some friends, according to Law Enforcement Today.

One family friend, Melissa LaFleur Hadley, said McClure refused vaccination for “sincerely held religious beliefs,” and she and her husband have organized a GoFundMe campaign to offset the McClure job loss.

Then, there’s Samantha Cilla. Massachusetts has repeatedly used her as a poster girl for the State Police, beginning with her pinning as a trooper 14 years after her dad, Trooper Vincent Cilla, died in a motorcycle crash while on duty 2005 when Samantha was 13, according to Law Enforcement Today. She wore the same badge number as her father, the Massachusetts State Police posted on their Twitter.

Like McClure, Trooper Cilla recently had to endure fellow officers coming to her home and, in front of her family, relieving her of her badge and equipment.

And what has happened to them is going on all over the country, in all kinds of professions.

While there does seem to be some effectiveness of COVID vaccines in reducing symptoms, thus limiting hospitalizations and deaths, those at most risk — the elderly — have a high rate of vaccination.

But healthcare can often be nuanced: What works for one individual, may not work for another. As a result, the dictates of government at all levels for a one-size-fits-all treatment are foolish.

The foolishness comes in the wake of a sickness that, besides being a threat primarily to the elderly, has

  1. Sparked and sustained media-created fear,
  2. Allowed tyrants to do what tyrants do as a result of this fear,
  3. Been studied by the FDA, which may have been regulated by people who are now in the pharmaceutical industry,
  4. Been defended against by a vaccine, which does not always prevent its spread but has had some serious side effects,
  5. Disregarded alternate treatments not in the pockets of big pharmaceutical companies, who have protection from all liability,
  6. Been used by a government which claims to apply scientific principles while using draconian censorship in an atmosphere of human experimentation now being aimed at children.

And as the Biden administration has pushed the vaccine mandates, employers — government and private — have rolled over, not joining in lawsuits pushing back against these regulations (which are becoming increasingly successful) or working to protect their employees.

So dedicated, highly professional police, firefighters, doctors, nurses, truck drivers and others are walking out — or being kicked out — the door.

Like Trooper Bonin,  Trooper McClure and Trooper Cilla.

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Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.
Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.