The Wounded Blue

If you are a cop or the loved one of a cop, you must watch the film, The Wounded Blue.

                                                     Allen R. Kates, “Copshock” Author & PTSD Expert

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Lightning Digital Entertainment is proud to present our third feature documentary “The Wounded Blue”, a film which tells the powerful stories of six Police Officers who inspired the creation of Lieutenant Randy Sutton’s The Wounded Blue Organization.  The story explores several critical and important issues facing law enforcement professionals today including PTSD, Police Suicide, and the financial ruin a Police Officer can incur after suffering a career ending injury in the line of duty.  Solutions are also put forth, as the film examines the importance of peer counseling, as well as the need for several legislative changes within a system that is clearly broken.

For over a century, our men and women serving in the United States Military have suffered the mental effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as they encounter the horrific scenarios associated with the theater of war.  In many cases, our veterans are finally getting the help they need, but our law enforcement Officers, who see and deal with many of the same situations, are still not being recognized as having these mental health issues by their agencies, cities, counties, and states, often leaving them to cope alone.  The results can be devastating to Officers and their families, as a noticeable psychological transformation begins to occur and a downward spiral leads to unimaginable consequences to all involved.

Narrated by Bradley Nickell, “The Wounded Blue” demonstrates this beginning with the story of Ann Marie Carrizales, a Houston area Police Officer who conducted a traffic stop on three gang members late one night in 2013, only to suffer two gun shot wounds, one to the face and one to the chest, when the passenger fired at her as the driver sped away.  A former Marine who was taught to never give up, Officer Carrizales pursued the suspects for over ten minutes until backup arrived, setting up a perimeter and eventually catching all three suspects. 

 Something that is becoming commonplace in law enforcement circles is the known fact that if you are shot and killed in the line of duty, your family will be taken care of and will receive the benefits they deserve.  Survive that same shooting, and it’s almost as if you are punished.  Ann Marie, after being lauded as a hero, was put into a worker’s comp system that stripped her of over half her pay, leading to the inability to pay bills, as well as the need to fight for medical treatments necessary for her recovery of which worker’s comp was either denying or not paying for.  Unfortunately, Officer Carrizales is not the only one whose story reflects these injustices.

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Featuring Interviews With

Randy Sutton

Ann Marie Carrizales

Charles Neill

Phil Roselle

Rebecca Tiger

Eddie Richardson

Shaun Smotherman

Trevor Wilkens

Joe Clure

Debbie Roselle

Kelly Hollister

Tom Roncinske

Cherisa Neill

Jennifer Markowski

The Wounded Blue” features the stories of retired Oklahoma Lieutenant Charles Neill, retired South Carolina Deputy Eddie Richardson, and retired Texas Police Officer Shaun Smotherman, all of whom lost as much as 75% of their pay after suffering career ending injuries in the line of duty.  In addition, the film tells the story of Officer Phil Roselle, a Police Officer in Connecticut, who was shot during a training accident at his department’s firearms range.  Officer Roselle sustained a bullet wound through his right forearm and into his chest, which has caused numerous serious health complications, including PTSD and Kidney Failure.  Though a bullet still remains in his chest, the workers comp system has denied his claims, citing the fact he is a life long diabetic, blaming that as the reason for his failing health.  With Phil and his family desperately fighting for the treatment and compensation he deserves, those in decision making roles continue to deny him benefits, leaving a Police Officer with 30 years of service to wonder what he did wrong.

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Perhaps the most heartbreaking story told in “The Wounded Blue” is that of Phoenix Police Officer Craig Tiger, who took his own life after a years long bout with PTSD.  Through the words of the mother of his children, retired Police Officer Rebecca Tiger, and his friend and union representative, retired Police Officer Joe Clure, the story unfolds as we learn of the shooting Craig was involved in which resulted in continuous nightmares and the need to self medicate using alcohol.  All of this led to an initial suicide attempt and a subsequent arrest for DUI where the Chief decided to fire him, thus creating the circumstances that led to a tragic, yet preventable, loss of life.

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Retired Police Lieutenant Randy Sutton, a 34 year Police Veteran and the Founder of The Wounded Blue organization, explains the negative side of society Police Officers face while performing their duties and how these cumulative experiences can affect an Officer over a long career.  How PTSD can effect a Police Officer cannot be understated, but the additional factors of financial hardship and the feeling of being Forgotten and Alone can often contribute to the already known fact that Police Officer Suicide outnumbers the amount of Police Officers killed in the line of duty.  All of this must be recognized as a national tragedy, and the stories told in this very powerful film evoke a call to action in which we must work to correct theses issues that are consistently and wrongly effecting those who Serve and Protect us.

The Wounded Blue” is Produced, Directed, Written, & Edited by Jason Harney & is a production of Lightning Digital Entertainment.  Executive Producers are Randy SuttonRick Romano, Harel Goldstein, & Charles Morris Jr..  The film is being distributed worldwide by Global Genesis Group and is available now on Amazon, iTunes, & The Microsoft Store for Digital Purchase and Rental.