Adhering to social distancing rules amidst the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of police officers wearing protective masks stood next to their squad cars lining the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a final salute to a fellow officer who was gunned down while responding to a domestic violence call.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Breann “Bre” Leath, 24, was described during the service by police chaplain Patricia Holman as a “beautiful flower picked way too soon.”
During the Thursday service at the speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500 race, officers watched from a safe distance or tuned in to a livestream on their laptops and cellphones. Leath’s family, including her 3-year-old son, watched the service from several luxury suites to keep a safe distance apart.
“She had a way of making you think, ‘You know what? I really can do better. I want more for myself,” one of Leath’s sisters, Tiana Leath, told the mourners. “I’m going to make you proud. Most definitely.”
Choking back tears, she added that Leath’s son “will get so much love and kisses and tickles that you’re going to be jealous.”
Leath, who joined the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police force in December 2017, was killed on April 9 when she and other officers responded to a domestic violence call at a residence. Authorities allege that suspect Elliahs Dorsey, 27, who has been charged with murder, opened fire through a closed door striking Leath.
Speaking at the funeral, Indianapolis Police Chief Randal Taylor said Leath died while she “courageously stood her post, representing what’s best in society.”
“By simply putting on the uniform she made the world a better place,” Taylor said.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said Leath’s death is “a stinging reminder of the risk that those who wear the uniform face every day.”
Following the funeral, motorcycle police led a black hearse carrying Leath’s casket on a procession that went past police headquarters and the department’s East District headquarters, where it stopped in front of Leath’s squad car as new police recruits saluted and commemorated the place Leath served her final watch call.