Family, friends and fellow officers streamed through a Beltsville, Md., funeral home Monday to say goodbye to a Prince George’s County police officer killed in a crash last week.
Officer Adrian Morris, 23, lost control of his police cruiser while pursuing theft suspects on Interstate 95 and was ejected from the vehicle. He suffered massive head injuries and died.
Mourners lined up in the hot sunlight to let Morris’s family know that the officer’s sacrifice is appreciated and won’t be forgotten. Young officers wore crisply pressed uniforms. Others wore somber suits with their badges on chains around their necks.
“When you lose a police officer, especially in this type of senseless death, you feel in your heart,” retired police officer Dan Morris said.
Morris was born in Jamaica but raised in Prince George's County, where he went to public schools and grew into a passionate protector of the community he loved.
“Officer Morris is really an American success story,” Prince George’s County Police Deputy Chief Kevin Davis said. “He came into this country from Jamaica with his mother, became a citizen in 2009, graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in 2007, police explorer. So you couldn’t write a script that could depict a young person so dedicated to public service.”
Mourners included rank-and-file officers and officials from other law enforcement agencies from around the area and beyond.
“And the best way we know to honor him is through ceremonies but by taking care of his family,” U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers said. “His spouse -- in this case a fiancée -- his mother and grandmother, who I had a chance to meet. This is when policing is at its finest, when we’re the proudest of our profession.”
Also among the mourners was the owner of a Beltsville restaurant who, like Officer Morris and his family, immigrated to the United States in the past decade.
“He loved his job,” Monica Anki-Taylor said. “He loved being a police officer.”
A second viewing will be held Monday evening. Funeral services for Officer Morris will be held Tuesday morning in Mitchellville.