Memorial service with full honors held for fallen APD officer

KVUE Breaking News

AUSTIN - A public memorial was held Thursday for the Austin police officer who died after a Sept. 1 crash.

The service for Austin Police Department Senior Officer Amir Abdul-Khaliq was at the Wilhelmina Delco Center along Pecan Brook Drive at 11 a.m. Thursday. Full honors took place outside the center following the service.

A processional left the Delco Center and drove northbound on Springdale to Tuscany Way, then left on Highway 290, westbound on Highway 290 to the I-35 flyover, southbound on I-35 past the APD Main at 715 E. Eighth Street. 

The two-hour long ceremony featured speakers from Austin Mayor Steve Adler, APD Chief Art Acevedo, fellow APD officers, and Abdul-Khaliq's family members. 

"I will personally miss that brilliant smile.  That big bear hug. And that booming "Hello Pastor" whenever I would see him out on the job," said APD Senior Chaplain Rick Randall, who helped open up the ceremony.

"God never makes any mistakes. And my faith has been really tested going through this process.  But I know that one day, I will see him again," added Officer Jermaine Kilgore, who was Officer Abdul-Khaliq's partner. 

Chief Acevedo spoke highly of the fallen officer. 

"We've got 2,500 employees and he's always stood out, for all the right reasons.  I know that we're going to see him again. There's no doubt in my mind. I know that this Marine, Wichita Police Officer, Austin Police Officer, African-American, Muslim, has set a standard that is just not here in Austin but is really set around the country," explained Chief Acevedo. 

Detective Brent Kelly is a friend of Officer Abdul-Khaliq's, and played bagpipes during the ceremony. He described what was going through his mind as he remembered his friend. 

"I have to admit there were times where little flashes of his face would come through, and I'd have to concentrate and stay on task. But because this one was more personal for me, I could see him," explained Det. Kelly. 

Officer Abdul-Khaliq's son, Malik, spoke about his father's impact on his life. 

"I'm not going to try and be my father because I can't. I don't think I ever will. But I will try my best to fill his shoes," said Malik, in a speech that was met with a standing ovation from the packed crowd. 

His father, Amir Abdul-Khaliq, Sr. spoke warmly of the reception and support the family has received from law enforcement in the wake of his son's passing. 

"Amir obviously had some kind of impact on you all. I don't know what he did and how he did it - but I've received - his family has received - so much love and appreciation for the work that our son has done in this community," he explained. 

Earlier in the week, Officer Abdul-Khaliq was remembered during a traditional Islamic ceremony.  

Mohamed Umer Esmail, the Imam of Nueces Mosque, recalled sharing stories of faith and family with Officer Abdul-Khaliq. 

"(Thursday's) ceremony is what America was all about. We, Americans coming together for each other and looking out for each other, and doing what Americans do best.  And that is caring and being kind to each other," explained Umer Esmail. 

Abdul-Khaliq was involved in a crash near Burnet and Ohlen Roads on Sept. 1 while escorting a funeral procession, and died Sept. 4 from his injuries. He was laid to rest in a private ceremony Monday.

The Greater Austin Crime Commission established the Amir Abdul-Khaliq Family Fund to accept donations on behalf of his family. 

Go here and click on the “donate” link to contribute. People can also contribute at any Chase Bank location in Central Texas.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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