TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A group of motorcycles riders rolled into Tuscaloosa Monday morning for an event called “End of Watch Ride to Remember.”
The goal was to honor Tuscaloosa Police Officer Dornell Cousette who was killed in the line of duty back in September.
Cousette’s brother, Juan Hall, says his family was overjoyed to see so many people attending the event at Bowers Park.
“It feels good to know that he is not forgotten like the chief said after a funeral, people think the pain has stopped but it hasn’t,” Hall said. “And it’s nice to know that he’s still remembered.”
The group that hosted the ride was Beyond the Call of Duty. The group is on a 30-state tour of the country, making stops at all of the 146 law enforcement agencies that experienced line-of-duty deaths in 2019.
The “Celebration of Life” event includes motorcycle riders that follow a customized 28-foot trailer with graphics depicting fallen officers, their agencies and sponsors.
Mayor Walt Maddox called Cousette and all the other fallen officers heroes.
“Today we honor officer Cousette at the end of watch ride to remember,” Maddox said. “I will never forget the sacrifice he made and as long I am able to serve the people of Tuscaloosa I will do everything in my power so we never have a repeat of this. And to the men and women of the Tuscaloosa Police department thank you for what you do every day. The remembrance of Officer Cousette reminds us all that your heroes.”
Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley says many on his department are still mourning the loss of Cousette.
“I hate to think that after the funeral is over the pain stops, it doesn’t. And organizations like this keeps them alive knowing they didn’t die in vain,” Blankley said. “They died protecting this community and we will always remember and never forget what they did in the City of Tuscaloosa.”
The “End of Watch Ride” also helps raise money that will help support families of fallen officers.