Former partner of fallen Detroit police Cpl. McClain wants the city to know who it lost

Linze Shriner wants Detroit to know who it lost - and who she lost.

"I just want people to know that he was human: we laughed; we cried; we cracked jokes," she said.  

She and Cpl. Rasheen McClain were partners for nearly two years patrolling the 12th Precinct, responding to calls and protecting Detroiter all while making the most of mundane moments that we civilians seldom see.

"I think at first he had a persona he was 'Mr. Tough Guy' with his co-workers, that was just him, but then when you got to know him, it was, 'McClain that is not you,'" she said.

McClain had a soft side but he was also a hard-nosed cop that showed new officers the ropes. He pulled no punches and Shriner felt that the first day she was paired up with him for her second day on the job.

"He was a very honest person. You don't want to work with someone who's training you who's going to sugarcoat things," she said. "You want someone to tell you this is what you need to do, unfortunatley, anywhere, in order to survive. And I remember my first time working with him I was writing down on a piece of paper and he was like, 'You're taking too long let's get going, we've got some calls to take.' I was like, OK."

Last week there were a couple of calls. Corporal McClain was fatally shot responding to a home invasion on Wyoming near Eight Mile last Wednesday.

"When I got the call saying your partner was shot make sure you get to the hospital, my heart just sunk," Shriner said.

She was one of the first officers to get the news.

"The city of Detroit and the police department lost a hero," she said.

It's a word we use and hear often, but by all accounts McClain lived like one - looking out for the most vulnerable among us.

"We were driving down Seven Mile and there was a gentleman in a wheelchair on the side of the road waiting to cross," she said. "And cars were just flying by.  And he was like, we've got to stop. So he stops, he blocked traffic, and we both got out and we helped him go across the street. So any way he could, he helped people."

And taking the lead responding to potentially dangerous calls, not because he sought thrills, but to keep others from getting hurt.

"Anytime we would go into something whether we knew what was there or not, he always made sure he was protecting everyone else around him," Shriner said. "Whether that was citizens, whether that was his co-workers. Sometimes we would argue about it, 'You need to let me go.' 'You're not going so that's what it is.'

"But regardless when we got out, even if there were other scouts that came to back us up, he always wanted to be the one to go first. He wanted to be the protector. That was just his character."

The cop that at times could be a character, had lots of it. Tough and tender. Lionhearted and lamb-like. That's what Detroit lost.  And that's who Linze Shriner is mourning.

"If people could see us, how we are in a different light, I think things would be a lot different," she said. "And McClain is definitely that person that showed we're not what people think we are."

Cpl. McClain's funeral is set for next Friday, Dec. 6 at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, Family Hour is at 10 a.m. and the service at 11.