A third-grade boy who was ridiculed and pushed from his wheelchair for wearing a police uniform to school for Career Day has learned that members of law enforcement consider him one of their own.
Now he has the titles to prove it: Honorary District Attorney’s Investigator, Honorary Deputy Constable and Junior Firefighter.
Michael Martinez, 8, who has cerebral palsy and wants to become a police officer, received the commendation in person Friday from Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, who praised his courage in the face of a personal threat.
“Honorary badges are given to recipients who embody the characteristics required of every peace officer and first responder: courage, strength, kindness and resilience,” Ogg said at the ceremony held at the District Attorney’s Office. “We are presenting these honorary titles to this young man who, although not of age to be a peace officer, has taught us all about how to be brave in the face of adversity.”
Michael, who attends third grade in Humble, had donned a police officer costume for Career Day at school when a couple of older students, who have since been punished, pushed him out of his wheelchair in a congested hallway. Michael kept his cool and stayed calm as several students helped him back into his chair.
Undeterred by the bullies, the next day Michael again dressed for the job he wants – and headed back to school. This time he rode in the front passenger seat of a deputy constable’s car with others escorting him.
In addition to becoming an honorary DA investigator at Friday’s ceremony, Michael was sworn in as an honorary deputy for several Harris County constable’s offices, including Pct. 1 Constable Alan Rosen, Pct. 3 Constable Sherman Eagleton, Pct. 4 Constable Mark Herman, Pct. 5 Constable Ted Heap, Pct. 6 Constable Silvia Trevino and Pct. 8 Constable Phil Sandlin.
Michael was also named an honorary junior firefighter by Houston Fire Department Chief Sam Peña.
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for neurological disorders that result from brain damage due to a lack of oxygen at birth or shortly after. CP disrupts a person’s ability to control muscle movement, posture and balance. Some people are only mildly affected while others need more support.
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