Charleston community holds memorial on Officer Cassie Johnson’s death anniversary
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Charleston community paused Friday to remember a fallen hero who was taken from the world much too soon. It’s been a year since the call came into 911 about Officer Cassie Johnson, who had been shot while answering a traffic call.
Officer Johnson later died of her injuries, ending her watch service with the Charleston Police Department on Dec. 3, 2020.
A year later, dozens of Charleston Police, friends and family showed up to pay their respects at the the Charleston Police Memorial that bears Cassie’s name.
Charleston Police Department Chief Tyke Hunt spoke about Cassie and, along with her family, placed a wreath at the memorial.
“Definitely been a week of remembrance, it’s hard not to reflect on the roller coaster of emotions when we first had the news of Officer Johnson being shot,” Hunt said.
The memorial stands at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Washington Street West, with plaques of officers who have died in the line of duty.
“I wanted to make this is nothing but a proud day because I am so very proud of the service she provided our city and a true fight for justice -- all the way up until her last moments, a very valiant brave woman,” Hunt said.
Since Cassie’s death, Garrison Avenue, where Officer Johnson was shot, has been renamed Patrolman Cassie Johnson Avenue and her dedication to service lives on. Cassie Johnson was an organ donor; the Center for Organ Recovery and Education says Cassie Johnson’s organs have helped save five people.
“Because of Cassie, a man in his fifties received not only a new heart but also a hope for the future,” said a spokesperson with the organization.
While it may have been a year since her passing, for everyone who loved Cassie, the pain and sadness are still there.
“We still miss her very much, and I’d almost give anything to bring her back. I never want to question God’s plan,” Hunt said. “I still can’t help but feel sadness. I was driving here earlier today and getting choked up and drying my eyes a few different times. I can’t shake it; I still miss her.”
Pride, bravery, service and dedication are all words used to describe Officer Johnson at the memorial.
“If anyone wants to thank Cassie Johnson for her service, you can come here to see her name, to pay your respects, but if you want to thank her personally, I suggest you look up,” Hunt said.
The Charleston community is working to look up and look forward -- just as Cassie would want.
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