Attending Teen's Funeral: Police Chief Whose Officers Killed Her

'It's all about forgiveness'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2021 8:03 AM CST
Police Chief Speaks at Funeral for Teen Killed by His Officers
Farrah Rauch   (YouTube)

An Oklahoma police chief drove seven hours to attend the Wednesday funeral for a 17-year-old runaway killed by his officers. Muskogee Police Chief Johnny Teehee says he was surprised but "humbled and honored" to be asked to attend the memorial of Farrah Rauch in Blair, Nebraska, where he spoke to mourners, per the Omaha World-Herald. In 35 years, "I've never had an [invitation] like that before," says Teehee. "It's a unique thing for law enforcement, especially at this time in the world." Farrah's father, Steven, had even asked "the officers who took the life of his child to attend the service," says Teehee, though they "just weren't quite ready." Farrah was killed Feb. 28 in the department's first shootout in 25 years, KJRH reports. "It's hard to take a life anyway, then when you find out it was a 17-year-old female it just compounds that," says Teehee.

Farrah and boyfriend Joseph Dugan, 17, had fled probation, traveling from state to state in Joseph's father's car until it broke down on Feb. 28. That's when they "must have discovered there were guns in the back," Steven Rauch tells the World-Herald. Police responding to a carjacking in Muskogee pursued the teens in a stolen pickup until it crashed. That prompted a foot chase, during which Farrah shot at officers, according to police. She was shot and killed when officers returned fire. Joseph killed himself as officers closed in. Steven Rauch says Farrah had issues with authority and self-harm and officers were just "doing their jobs." "They had no idea that they were even teens," he tells the World-Herald. But "it's all about forgiveness," he tells KETV. Teehee told mourners he would "carry this message of forgiveness for Farrah and I'm going to use that." (More police shooting stories.)

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