Honor Roll

Anthony Ray White

Sergeant Anthony White was a “fighter, and he wasn’t one to quit.” Those were the words of his wife, Tawnya, in a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Training Division video after he lost his life as a result of COVID-19 contracted in the line of duty. Because of Anthony’s strength and determination, Tawnya, their two school-aged children, and the rest of their family were “hopeful he would get through this.” Anthony battled his illness for more than 100 days in a few different hospitals. Tawnya says her husband “fought every day and he wanted to come home.” Unfortunately, his lungs were badly damaged, and he got rapidly worse. After he had a tracheostomy (an incision in the windpipe made to relieve obstructed breathing), he could no longer speak. His family would never hear his voice again.

In reporter Sheri Fink’s New York Times article entitled, The Rationing of a Last-Resort Covid Treatment, dated July 12, 2021, Tawnya shares that Anthony wrote on a white board that he was hoping to “get well for retirement.” In the end, his wife says, “COVID was attacking his entire body and he never recovered… His body started to shut down and it was very, very traumatic.” Sadly, at the age of 54, Sergeant Anthony White passed away. In honor of Sergeant White, Capitol flags in Sacramento were flown at half-staff. The Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), the union that represents LAPD officers, paid tribute to Anthony in a Twitter post saying, “He protected our city for over 30 years. Our prayers are with Sgt. White’s family, friends and co-workers during their time of sadness.”

Sergeant White started working for the LAPD in 1990 and served the department for 31 years. His most recent assignment was at the Transit Services Division. Prior to that, he worked at the Hollenbeck, Southwest, Internal Affairs and Transit Services divisions. Sergeant White, his wife, and their two children lived in the Inland Empire city of Eastvale, about 50 miles from Los Angeles.

In Fink’s New York Times article, she details recollections Anthony’s two kids shared about their dad. Sergeant White’s son, 11 at the time, recalled his father teaching him how to play chess. Anthony’s 15-year-old daughter emotionally spoke about going out for fast food with her dad after soccer practice. They also reminisced about how their parents would sing as they cooked together, right near a sign that read, “This kitchen is for dancing.”

Due to the restrictions back then on visiting COVID patients in the hospital, Tawnya was initially not allowed to visit her husband. She would “go to bed thinking about him” and “wake up thinking about him.” Fortunately, the no-visitor policy was eventually lifted, and Anthony was able to take his wife’s hand in his. He mouthed, “How do I get stronger?”

Sergeant White’s milestones were followed by setbacks, and he ultimately succumbed to his illness on April 15, 2021. He left behind his loving wife, two children, parents, and two sisters. Sergeant Anthony White will be remembered as “a beautiful person with a beautiful heart” who left us too soon. May we all find inspiration in the courage he exemplified in the toughest of times.