Retired officers honor fallen Detroit cops
Active and retired police officers from across the country traveled to the city Friday to present gifts to the families of two local cops who recently died in the line of duty.
Seven members of the nonprofit group Brothers Before Others Friday presented the families of late officers Glenn Doss and Darren Weathers with portraits, American flags, memorial caps and T-shirts during a ceremony at Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit restaurant in Little Caesars Arena.
The group also planned Friday to visit the 7th and 2nd Precincts, where Doss and Weathers worked, to present their fellow officers with hats and T-shirts bearing the fallen officers’ names, and an Old English D with a blue line running through it over the caption “Detroit Strong.”
“It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s important to let these officers know someone is thinking about them, and that we came from across the country to show them we feel their pain,” retired New York police officer Michael Burke said.
Doss, 25, was killed Jan. 24 after being shot in the head during an apparent ambush on the city’s east side. Weathers, also 25, died Feb. 13 when he crashed his vehicle in southwest Detroit.
“These officers died protecting the city of Detroit, and we want their families to know we support them,” Brothers Before Others member Detroit police Sgt. Raytheon Martin said. “It’s important they know they won’t be forgotten, and their sacrifices won’t be forgotten.”
When Brothers Before Others started in 2014, the goal was to send floral arrangements for every line of duty death in the United States, Burke said. “So far, we’ve done close to 400 arrangements,” he said.
The group’s activities expanded to raising money for fallen officers’ families, along with doing charity work for situations that don’t involve police. For instance, during the Flint water crisis, the group in 2016 donated hundreds of cases of water to residents. The group also visits sick children in hospitals and delivers toys to them.
“One of our members, Jonathan Castro, is a sketch artist,” Burke said. “He paints portraits of fallen officers, and we deliver them to families. We also have flags we fly on the Freedom Tower in New York, which replaced the World Trade Center, and we’ll present those to the families as well.”
Burke said Friday’s ceremony was coordinated by the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons, and Kid Rock.
“I cold-called Kid Rock’s people out of the blue and said ‘this is who we are and what we do.’ The manager couldn’t say yes fast enough to letting us use the restaurant for the presentation.”
To donate to the group, visit www.brothersbeforeothers.org. The group’s Twitter handle is @BBOINC14.