AUSTIN (KXAN) — Laughter, tears, and memories were shared at the memorial service for the fallen police Officer Amir Abdul-Khaliq. More than 3,000 people attended to show their respects.
He passed away on Sunday, three days after he was hit by a car while escorting a funeral procession. The service was a chance for fellow officers, friends, and the community to remember him and his 17 years of service on the Austin police force. Officer Abdul-Khaliq will receive full police honors directly after his public memorial service.
“This is a time for celebration of his life and the impact he had on each one of us,” said the Austin police Chaplain during the opening remarks at the memorial.
A long list of Austin city and police leaders spoke at the memorial service. Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo shared words for the fallen officer, his family and friends.
“He looked so tough on the outside but when you sat down to talk to him he was such a loving and caring person,” said Acevedo tearing up.
“It’s amazing how God brings people together no matter what your faith, no matter what your background, and we were brothers,” Ofc. Jermaine Kilgore, Abdul-Khaliq’s partner said.
Officer Abdul-Khaliq’s family took part in the service. His son, Malik Abdul-Khaliq, delivered the eulogy.
“I’m speaking from the heart today a written down speech wouldn’t do justice for my dad,” said Malik. “I’m not going to try to be my father because I can’t, but I will try my best to fill his shoes,” concluded Malik adding that he plans to join the police department very soon.
Amir Abdul-Khaliq Sr. spoke after his grandson sharing words of appreciation for the department and the hospital staff who worked tirelessly with the officer.
An empty casket at the service paid tribute to the officer. He was laid to rest in a traditional Islamic funeral on Monday.
Fellow officers said they practiced for days perfecting their tribute to him.
“It’s difficult to say good-bye to a friend,” said Sr. Officer Vance Debes, who served in the motorcycle unit with Abdul-Khaliq. “But knowing where Amir is right now and that he’s at peace, Amir deserves this.”
Abdul-Khaliq Sr. says his family is praying for the driver who hit and killed his son. He added that he forgives the driver, 51-year-old Ana Prado. She was cited for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, but according to city records, her citation was dismissed on Sept. 8. While the citation was dismissed, charges could still be filed.
Officer Abdul-Khaliq leaves behind a wife and five children. During his time with APD Abdul-Khaliq received several awards from the Safe Driving Award, to the 10 Year Honorable Conduct Award, Life Saving Medal and a Purple Heart.
After the memorial service, there was a full honor guard ceremony and the procession traveled to downtown Austin after the service.App users tap here for the procession route.