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Hundreds of bikers gather in Cleveland to honor those officers killed in the line of duty & support their loved ones

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 4:20 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - David Leo is still healing from the death of his son, a Girard police officer, who was killed when he responded to a domestic violence call in 2017.

More than four years later, Leo, a trustee for the Ohio Concerns of Police Survivors, an organization that helps coworkers and families rebuild their lives after a loved one is killed in the line of duty, spoke at the 13th annual Cops Ride in downtown Cleveland.

The cop ride is held each year to comfort people like Leo whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice.

Hundreds of motorcyclists were expected to participate in honor of four Ohio officers who died in the line of duty last year: Toledo Officer Anthony H. Dia; Springdale Police Officer Kaia Lafay Grant; Hamilton County Sheriff Corporal Adam S. McMillian and Cleveland Police Detective James M. Skernivitz.

After a ceremony that included emotional speeches at the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial, participants rode from West 3rd Street to South East Harley Davidson, traveling along Lakeside Avenue.

Leo shared what he said to his son, Justin, the last time he spoke to him.

“Make good choices, brush your teeth, and be safe,” he told his son.

John Kikol, president of Cops Ride, the group that organized the event, said around 150 officers died last year in the line of duty across the country leaving devastated friends and families.

“They are called survivors, and we’re here to make sure we don’t forget them,” said Kikol.

All proceeds from the ride benefit the Police Memorial, Ohio C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) and scholarships to Tr-C Police Academy.

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