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Fallen IMPD Officer Breann Leath laid to rest

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Fallen Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Breann Leath was laid to rest Thursday.

Leath was a lifelong resident of Indianapolis, a graduate of Southport High School and a member of the Army National Guard. She was also the mother to a young child.

The 24-year-old officer was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute just after 2:45 p.m. April 9 in the 1800 block of Edinburge Square at an apartment complex located southeast of the I-70 interchange with I-465.

Leath is the 62nd line-of-duty death of an Indianapolis police officer. She had been with IMPD for 2-1/2 years.

Funeral services for Leath were held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s the first time a fallen officer’s funeral was held at the historic landmark.

Memorial services began early Thursday morning when her body was taken from Crown Hill Cemetery to IMS.

Hundreds of IMPD officers lined the oval track as family members gathered for a private funeral service Thursday morning. The funeral was not open to the public due to the current public health crisis.

Officers stood apart in social distancing, but together in solidarity to honor their fallen hero. As Leath’s coach made one lap around the track, one-by-one officers tossed white carnations into a trailer in her honor. The flowers followed Leath to her final resting place at Crown Hill Cemetery.

Family, city leaders honor Leath during funeral

“We are here to celebrate the life of Breann Rochelle Leath,” IMPD Senior Staff Chaplain Patricia Holman said. “A beautiful flower that was picked far too soon.”

“I’m going to make you proud,” Breann’s sister, Tiana Leath, said through tears. “Most definitely.”

As her sister shared stories from their time together, she began to paint a picture of what it was like to be part of Breann’s family.

“She just taught me how to make her famous mac and cheese at my house two weeks ago,” Tiana Leath said. “We were always so honest with each other. I think everyone can vouch for me when I say she didn’t care if you wanted to hear what she had to say. If she felt you needed to hear it, she was going to tell you. She had a way of making you think, ‘You know what, I really can do better. I want more for myself.’”

Now, her siblings, parents, and especially her son, Zayn, have gained more family than they know what to do with. Millions of Hoosiers are ready to do everything they can to support her family now and for decades to follow.

“Breann was part of our family,” IMPD Commander Richard Riddle said. “And all of IMPD grieves with you and we’ll always be here to support you in any way we can. Last but not least, to Zayne. I hope when you get older, you get the opportunity to watch this ceremony for your mommy. She touched the lives of so many people and I want you to know that she died as a hero.”

The Central Indiana Police Foundation has established a fund in Leath’s honor at the request of her family. The fund will serve as the official fundraiser to accept donations on behalf of the family, to assist with burial arrangements and to provide a trust for her young son.

Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Deputy Warden of the Indiana Women’s Prison LaShella Turner also spoke during the funeral. You can hear their statements in the videos below.

During the governor’s daily press briefing regarding the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Indiana, Officer Leath was honored again.

A clip of a documentary was shared during the press briefing that showed the type of person Breann Leath was. It also highlighted her involvement with the Dept. of Corrections “Wee Ones Program.” It was announced the nursery at the Dept. of Corrections will now be named in her honor. It will now be called the Officer Breann Leath Memorial Maternal & Child Health Unit.

Officer Leath spent time with the mothers and their babies during her time working for the Indiana Department of Correction.

The program was created in 2008 to provide parenting education and to allow mothers to spend time with their infants while incarcerated.

Those who knew Officer Leath say she cared about the mothers and the babies in the program. They say naming it after her was the perfect way to honor her memory.

“I hope that not just during this time, but in the coming days as we all together as a state work our way through this pandemic that we bring an equal amount of passion and compassion as Breann did everyday that she came to work,” said Holcomb.

Final 10-42 call marks Leath’s official end of watch

Leath’s procession made a stop at the IMPD East District where they made the final 10-42 call.

A 10-42 call is the call that is made at the end of each officer’s shift to show they are off duty. When an officer passes away, a special 10-42 call is made to commemorate the officer’s end of watch.

Before the coach arrived at the east district, people lined the streets to pay their respects to Leath. A memorial is also set up at the location where Leath’s patrol car sits surrounded by flowers and cards.

You can listen to the entire call in the video below:

Garrison flag hung at Monument Circle in honor of fallen officer

Officer Leath’s procession also passed under a garrison flag that was hung at Monument Circle.

Despite the state’s stay-at-home order due to COVID-19 pandemic, dozens of people stopped what they were doing to pay their respects while social-distancing.

“It’s very heartbreaking because she was doing her job then got shot. It’s just sad. It saddens me that that happens,” said Lori May. 

Larry Brackin also came out to Monument Circle to pay his respects. 

“To see that flag flying everything, I didn’t expect it today, but I’m glad I’m here to see it,” he said.

“I feel a lot of emotions,” Ryan Shouse said. “I feel a lot of sympathy for the family. To see an officer shot in the line of duty, it’s never something you want to see. Our hearts go out to her and her family.”

Another woman said she brought her children  to see the procession, and wants them to learn and remember respect and honor.

Breann Leath laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery

The coach that carried Officer Leath and her family to her grave site was escorted by a small group of police officers.

Six officers removed her casket from the coach and the flag that had covered it was folded and presented to her family.

Leath is now buried in a section of Crown Hill reserved for public safety heroes.

Leath is buried close to David Moore, another IMPD officer that was killed in the line of duty.

Crown Hill Cemetery is open to the public and visitors encouraged to come and pay their respects. Though the service was amended, it certainly honored Leath as a mother, daughter, sister, soldier and police officer.

Light display at Lucas Oil Stadium honors life of Officer Leath

A message of gratitude for IMPD Officer Breann Leath was projected on the south side of Lucas Oil Stadium Thursday night.

Downtown Indy, Inc. partnered with the stadium and Dodd Technologies to display the message.

“Thank you for your service Officer Breann Leath,” the laser light projection reads.

The display will only be up until midnight Thursday.

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