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River Region deputies attend slain officer’s funeral

By Monique Roth
L’Observateur

LAPLACE — Five River Region law enforcement officers were in attendance at Sunday’s funeral service for Officer Wenjian Liu, one of the New York City Police Officers killed on duty last month.

Liu — who leaves behind his wife — and his partner Officer Rafael Ramos — who leaves behind his wife and two sons — were executed Dec. 20 as they sat in their squad car in Brooklyn, N. Y.

The attendance of the River Region authorities was made possible through the generosity of Jet Blue Airlines, which provided free airfare for officers nationwide to attend services for Officers Ramos and Liu.

St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin said Deputies Dustin Tomlinson and Joseph Spadoni Jr. represented St. James Parish at the service, adding the two men approached him when they learned of the opportunity to go and “requested the honor.”

Martin said tragic events like the one in New York “bring into perspective the responsibility, the duty, the danger (of the job) and makes (officers) realize the importance of training and helping each other.

“We don’t do it for any recognition,” Martin said of attending. “But I was happy to know I had officers who wanted to go.”

St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said it was an honor to have three St. Charles deputies — Captain Mark Candies, Lieutenant George Breedy and Captain Patrick Yoes — take part in the funeral service.

“Anytime an officer is killed or dies, it hits close to home and affects the entire law enforcement community,” Champagne said. “This was a senseless and cowardly act by a person who had no regard for law enforcement, let alone himself.”

Ramos’ funeral service was held on Dec. 27 with thousands of police officers and firefighters from across the country in attendance.