INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One year ago, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Breann Leath was shot and killed in the line of duty.
On Friday, her family, fellow officers and others who loved her honored her.
Throughout the day, News 8 heard about Leath’s warm smile, her personality and her commitment to a life of service.
Leath was a mother, a sister, a daughter, an officer and a friend.
“We will always miss her. She will always be part of our lives,” Jennifer Leath, Breann Leath’s mother, explained Friday.
Her mother said she wanted to be a police officer since she was a small child.
“Every single day, I know her dad and I continue to be proud of her. The sacrifice that she made. Although it put a ginormous hole in our hearts and in our family, she went out doing what she wanted to do from the beginning. It was important to her to make a difference. And I think in her death, she absolutely has done that,” Jennifer Leath said.
One year later, her family, fellow IMPD officers and people who loved her honored Breann Leath with a ceremonial roll call at her gravesite.
“You could not see her, speak to her, or just be around her without knowing how special she was,” IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said. “For those of you who knew her well, you were doubly blessed. For those of us who only got a glimpse of us, we could still feel her warmth.”
Taylor added, “Bre will never be forgotten. She will always be honored, and she’s always with us.”
On Friday morning at the Indiana Women’s Prison, another event to honor Breann’s life and legacy. The Indiana Department of Correction rededicated the maternal child health unit where Breann Leath worked for a time, honoring her in the new name.
“We want them to walk through those doors and feel the spirit and the legacy of Officer Breann Leath. We want them to feel empowered as women and to be able to share that empowerment and be the best moms that they want to be,” Dr. Kristen Dauss, IDOC chief medical officer, explained.
Dauss added, “The mission of the unit is quite simple: Keep mother and baby together, while fostering nurturing bonds and personal growth.”
Breann’s older sister pushed through her tears to speak about how sunflowers were special to them both.
“Sunflowers were one of me and Breann’s favorite flowers. A sunflower, to me, signifies just that — her personality,” Leath’s older sister said.
Leath’s older sister said they’re called sunflowers because they are drawn to the sun. When the sun isn’t available, they turn to each other. Her sister says that signifies Breann in many different ways. Her sister said Breann was the type of person they could turn to in any situation, and no matter what, Breann would drop what she was doing to help her family.