09/17/2003

Officers Bid Farewell to Comrade

Officer Down: Michael Christopher Waters - [West Memphis, Arkansas]

In a solemn ceremony punctuated with country music said to typify the man, police officers from around the region paid tribute to a fallen West Memphis comrade Tuesday.

Patrolman Michael Christopher Waters, 24, was eulogized as an officer anyone would want watching his back, a tough "bad boy" on the streets but also a dedicated public servant who "paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving his life in the line of duty."

Waters was thrown from his patrol car Thursday evening in a chase on a closed section of Interstate 55 and was struck and killed by a second patrol car.

Three suspects in what had been a Sav-A-Lot store theft of candy will be charged with first-degree murder. They are in custody in Tennessee and are awaiting extradition to Crittenden County.

Tuesday's funeral at the First Baptist Church on Missouri Street was attended by officers from Little Rock, Jonesboro, Hughes, Forrest City, Marion, Memphis, Barlett, Germantown, Ripley, Horn Lake, Olive Branch and many other departments. West Memphis officers were arranged around the altar with their badges banded in black. Shelby County Sheriff Mark Lutrell, state prosecutors, West Memphis Mayor Bill Johnson and former mayor Keith Ingram also attended the packed service whose overflow was seated in the balcony.

Waters received a 21-gun salute and a rendering of Taps after the service. His wife of 10 months, Jennifer, and his parents, Rosa and Mitchell Waters, received American flags.

Back to previous page