Procession honors life of fallen APD Sr. Officer Amir Abdul-Khaliq

Final ride honors Officer Amir Abdul-Khaliq

AUSTIN, TEXAS - The final call out on Austin Police radios for Senior Officer Amir Abdul-Khaliq was followed by the final ride to honor a life of service for the man who's name translates to "Prince Servant to the Creator".

"They're all just regular people doing very dangerous work," said Jennifer Garza, who hurried from the service to the 12th Street bridge over I-35 to watch the procession. 

The dangers police officers face is something Garza knows all too well.

"My husband worked with Amir for a long time," she said sobbing, "so this, this hits home for me."

Standing with Garza on the bridge are members of the Austin Fire Department.

"We like to show our compassion and be there for our fallen brothers," said Firefighter Tyler Murdough. "Even though he was a police officer, we're all there for each other. They support us and we support them. We're a team."

As they watch the procession, they can't help but think of how Officer Abdul-Khaliq died. He was hit by a driver while working a funeral procession and died in the hospital three days later. 

"Sometimes it's more dangerous for us to be on the streets at a traffic collision than it is for us to be in an actual building fire just cause people are distracted nowadays with cell phones," said Murdough. 

"My husband also does police funeral escorts and he was in a similar accident," added Garza. 

Abdul-Khaliq is the first Austin Police officer to die from injuries sustained while performing a funeral escort. Garza said she hopes drivers will now take heed and caution. 

"I've seen it myself when people cut into a procession and they're not even part of it but they want to, they want to skip traffic too. Austin's bad with traffic. So they weave in and weave out and that is so dangerous for the advancing officer in a funeral procession," Garza said. 

She added people who are in processions should not change their minds and jump out and is hopeful lawmakers will take action. 

"I think people need to be aware of the danger and I think laws need to be changed. I would love to see an Amir law," Garza said.

Abdul-Khaliq was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and served with the Austin Police Department for 17 years. He is survived by his five children.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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