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Jamieson Ritter Cleveland fallen officer memorial service


Jamieson Ritter Cleveland fallen officer memorial service

CLEVELAND (WJW) — A Cleveland police officer who was tragically killed on the Fourth of July was honored Monday.

The Cleveland Division of Police held a memorial service for Cleveland police officer Jamieson Ritter Monday at Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist.

Leading up to the service was a memorial procession that began at Chambers Funeral Home on Rocky River Drive.

People began gathering along the route, joining other officers and families paying their respects, early Monday.

Officers carried Ritter’s casket out of the funeral home just after 9 a.m.

The procession to the memorial service began a short time later, with motorcycle officers serving as escort.

Mourners began gathering outside the church for the memorial service early Monday.

Ritter’s body was carried into the church just after 10:15 a.m.

FOX 8 photo

“He was our hero,” the priest said, as Ritter’s body was carried to the front of the church.

“He knew that he could make a dent in the eternal battle of good versus evil,” said Father Doug Brown, a chaplain with the Cleveland Division of Police.

jamieson at the church
FOX 8 photo

“He chose to protect people who were not from his hometown and he sacrificed his life for people he didn’t even know,” Brown said.

“He was a great officer because he was a great person,” Brown added.

Ritter, who was just 27 years old and had been with the department for four years, was part of a team who responded to the area of Wade Park for a report of a wanted man.

The suspect attempted to get away on a bike and pulled out a gun and began firing, police said, which is when Ritter was hit and killed.

Jamieson Ritter
Jamieson Ritter (Cleveland Division of Police)

Cleveland Division of Police Chief Annie Todd’s words at the service were powerful.

“In his years of service, Jamieson demonstrated what it means to be truly dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of others,” Chief Todd shared.  

“His compassion for those in need and his relentless pursuit of justice were evident in every action he took,” she said.

“A beacon of hope and a symbol of strength,” Chief Todd said of Jamieson.

She also had a call to action.

“Let us honor him by continuing his work, by upholding the values he stood for,” she said.

“My nightmare came true,” Ritter’s partner, Patrol Officer Brittany Vajusi said of the night Jamieson was killed.

“If there’s one thing that I can ask of everyone here today and everyone watching in Cleveland, New York and around the world. Please never forget Officer Jamieson Ritter,” Officer Vajusi said tearfully.

“He was my best friend, my brother and the absolute epitome of a police officer,” she said.

The church shared that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb met with the family before the service Monday.

Sunday, FOX 8 spoke to those decorating along the procession route. They said they were doing so to make the route more welcoming for Ritter’s grieving family.

“How much we appreciate the sacrifice that Jamieson made for our city,” Mary Jo Graves said. “Not just out city, but for our country. For the little bit that we’re doing, just hanging ribbons, compared to what he did in giving his life for us – no greater love. And we just want to appreciate that and honor that.”

More than a dozen of the volunteers have relatives who work in law enforcement.

“I can’t even imagine what they’re going through,” Allison Brown said. “You know, their son wanted to come out and protect people and help people. And this is what it unfortunately came down to. My prayers are going out to them, and they have a huge family here to support them through everything.”

Mayor Justin Bibb also said in a statement to Fox 8 that he is heartbroken over the devastating loss of Officer Ritter.

“He was a dedicated public servant and our entire city is mourning this tragic loss,” Bibb said in an emailed statement. “My deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Officer Ritter. Please pray for his family and the Cleveland Division of Police as we mourn this senseless loss. We are doing everything we can to ensure the perpetrator is brought to justice to the fullest extent of the law.”

A funeral for Ritter is being held in New York state, where he grew up.

The suspect Delawnte Hardy, 24, was taken into custody and is charged with aggravated murder.

Find Ritter’s obituary right here.

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