Washington D.C.: Today President Obama awarded LAPD Officer Donald Thompson with the Medal of Valor for an incident in December 2013.
On December 25, 2013, about 2:00 p.m., Officer Thompson was headed to work driving southbound on the 405 Freeway, south of the 101 Freeway. Officer Thompson saw a vehicle on the northbound side of the 405 Freeway crash into the center divider. The vehicle immediately caught on fire. Officer Thompson stopped his vehicle and ran to the aid of the driver who was unconscious and trapped in his vehicle. As the vehicle continued to fill with smoke and flames engulfed the front seat compartment, Officer Thompson cut the seatbelt of the vehicle so he was able to free the man and, with the aid of two citizens, pulled him to safety.
Today at the White House, Officer Thompson was one of thirteen public safety officers who was awarded the Medal of Valor by President Obama. The Medal of Valor is awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage in the attempt to save or protect others from harm. The award is the highest national award for valor presented to public safety officers.
The LAPD is proud to have Officer Thompson acknowledged today by President Obama for his bravery in this incident.