Trump cites player's death in immigration tweet

President Donald Trump sent a tweet about the death of NFL Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson, who was allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant.

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 8:39 AM
Updated: Feb 8, 2018 8:39 AM

At the Indianapolis company where Jeffrey Monroe worked the overnight shift for decades, his supervisor personally called the 20 or so people in his department to tell them Monroe had been killed in the crash that also took the life of NFL linebacker Edwin Jackson.

"We're a small company," Eric Rushing said Wednesday. "Everybody is like a family. It was harder than I anticipated."

While the death of Jackson has been politicized -- police arrested a twice-deported undocumented immigrant in the suspected drunken driving crash -- Monroe's co-workers at Allison Payment Systems want to make sure his life isn't overlooked.

Early Sunday, Jeff Monroe was working part time as a ride-share driver. His passenger, Jackson, became ill and Monroe pulled over to assist him. They were struck and killed.

"His story has gotten swept under the rug," said Rushing, the company's director of operations. "He was trying to do a good thing."

Monroe is being remembered as a hard worker and devoted husband who was trying to save money to take his wife to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

"He did everything for me," Deborah Monroe, his wife of nearly 24 years, told CNN affiliate WRTV. "He once told me that the reason he got up in the morning was because of me."

'It's about celebrating Jeff's life'

Monroe, who would have turned 55 this month, worked as a computer printer operator at Allison Payments Systems since 1998. To those who knew him, it didn't matter that he never played for the Indianapolis Colts. He was a big Colts fan, though. And he was a fixture on the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, where he printed bills and explanation of benefits for various companies in preparation for mailing.

"He had a great personality, always up and willing to help his co-workers," said Joseph "JP" Thomas, company president and CEO.

"He was diligent. Everybody admired him. Everybody who knew him had a fondness for him."

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump sought to the politicize the crash involving an undocumented immigrant. He tweeted that it was "disgraceful that a person illegally in our country" killed Jackson, who played for the Indianapolis Colts,.

Trump called on Democrats to "get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!" There was no mention of Monroe.

Some members of Indiana's congressional delegation also tweeted their outrage.

On Wednesday, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, a Democrat, singled out Trump, saying it was "ghoulish and inappropriate" to politicize the deaths.

Curry filed four felony charges against Manuel Orrego-Savala, a Guatemalan citizen.

"We're not paying attention to that," Thomas said of the focus on the suspect's immigration status rather than the lives lost.

"We knew Jeff and that's what it's all about. Other things will take their course. For us, it's about celebrating Jeff's life and mourning Jeff."

'This is who my husband was'

Thomas said Monroe loved the Christmas season, especially when the company offered free gift wrapping for workers.

"He was known for showering his wife with hundreds of gifts," he said. "He loved his wife. He was a good person. He was kind of a Santa Claus."

Early Sunday, Monroe had stopped his 2018 Lincoln on the side of Interstate 70 in Indianapolis because Jackson, his passenger, had become ill, according to state police.

Both men were standing outside the car when a black Ford F-150 pickup truck drove onto the emergency shoulder and struck them.

Monroe was thrown into the center lane, according to court documents. A state trooper spotted the wreckage and, as he slowed to stop for the crash, his vehicle struck Monroe's body in the center lane. Jackson and Monroe were pronounced dead at the scene.

"This is who my husband was," Deborah Monroe told WRTV. "It does not surprise me that he was killed helping someone else."

The couple had no children but the wife told the station they considered their more than two dozen nephews and nieces their own.

Rushing said Monroe and his wife liked to travel. They went on cruises and had recently traveled to Italy. Monroe was saving money from his part-time driving gig to take her Tokyo for the Olympics.

"He worked holidays," Rushing said. "If I needed anything, he would be there Christmas Day or whatever he had to do. He worked as much overtime as he could to do things and enjoy life."

Said Thomas, "The sad part is, I know he was doing something good, trying to get somebody home safely and it didn't end up that way."

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said he will pay for the men's funerals. Allison Payments Systems will give workers time to bid Monroe a final farewell.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 728811

Reported Deaths: 13405
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion996911740
Lake53548966
Allen40529675
St. Joseph35596550
Hamilton35536408
Elkhart28470441
Tippecanoe22375218
Vanderburgh22293396
Porter18701307
Johnson17923378
Hendricks17199315
Clark12943191
Madison12612339
Vigo12437246
Monroe11873170
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Howard9895216
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Hancock8260140
Bartholomew8058155
Warrick7777155
Floyd7653178
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Grant7032174
Boone6687101
Morgan6557139
Dubois6150117
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Cass5794105
Henry5699103
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Switzerland7858
Union71010
Ohio56511
Unassigned0414

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1082815

Reported Deaths: 19428
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1258081400
Cuyahoga1119722115
Hamilton799721205
Montgomery514061014
Summit47145945
Lucas42119788
Butler38338584
Stark32273906
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Mahoning21546588
Lake20653369
Clermont19761238
Delaware18512133
Licking16418212
Fairfield16176199
Trumbull16032468
Medina15268264
Greene15063244
Clark13983299
Wood13080189
Portage12839203
Allen11639232
Richland11349199
Miami10670217
Muskingum8803133
Wayne8793211
Columbiana8778229
Pickaway8564121
Marion8523135
Tuscarawas8473244
Erie7888154
Hancock6914127
Ross6846155
Ashtabula6805170
Geauga6686148
Scioto6406101
Belmont5881167
Union570848
Lawrence5549102
Jefferson5525151
Huron5430119
Darke5355123
Sandusky5347120
Seneca5282121
Athens519158
Washington5155109
Auglaize490784
Mercer480385
Shelby469293
Knox4486110
Madison435661
Putnam4278100
Fulton422469
Ashland421789
Defiance419697
Crawford3975107
Brown394157
Logan381676
Preble379598
Clinton372163
Ottawa366679
Highland355062
Williams339275
Champaign331658
Guernsey315653
Jackson312551
Perry294950
Morrow284939
Fayette281950
Hardin270864
Henry268666
Coshocton265257
Holmes2603101
Van Wert243463
Adams237852
Pike237634
Gallia235349
Wyandot231055
Hocking215362
Carroll191547
Paulding172640
Meigs144840
Noble133337
Monroe132042
Morgan108423
Harrison108137
Vinton83115
Unassigned02
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Rain moves in overnight into Sunday morning and looks to hang around much of the day, likely forcing Mother's Day plans indoors
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