CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A diverse mix of federal, state, local law enforcement and members of the public paid their respects to police officers killed in the line of duty during a ceremony Thursday afternoon at the FBI Center in Clarksburg.
Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt spoke at the event in honor on of one of his officers killed in the line of duty- Patrol Officer Cassie Johnson, whose family members attended the ceremony.
“It’s a lot of emotions and I’ll do my best to keep it together when I speak, but forgive me if I don’t,” Hunt said. “They paid the ultimate price and they did so selflessly because they’re out there providing a service.”
Johnson, 28, responded to a traffic complaint in early December 2020 where she encountered Joshua Phillips. She was shot during a struggle and died a few days later at CAMC. Phillips is charged with murder and is scheduled to go on trial in June. He’s claiming self-defense.
“I could never imagine being in the family’s shoes for losing a loved one- much less losing someone who gave their life protecting others. So to be here today to honor those heroes and recognize her family means the world to me,” Hunt said.
Officers from multiple agencies mingled and comforted each other before during and after the ceremony. Hunt noted it takes very little time for law enforcement professionals to develop rapport.
“It’s like they’ve known each other their whole lives because they have that common ground,” Hunt said. “The brotherhood, the sisterhood of law enforcement.”