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Hennepin County law enforcement gathers to honor fallen officers

Officers listened to 67 names of fallen comrades.

MINNEAPOLIS — On Thursday, law enforcement agencies throughout Hennepin County honored their colleagues who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Right in front of Minneapolis City Hall, officers from across the county listened to 67 names.

"We are here to honor the 67 men and women of Hennepin County who gave their lives to protect our safety and our freedom," said Brian O'Hara, the Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department. "They're bound together forever in an unbreakable bond of honor."

O'Hara and other law enforcement officers said they felt lucky that the county's list did not get longer this year, although that is not the case for all. 

Four officers in the region were shot and killed in the line of duty in the past few weeks. 

Chetek Police Officer Emily Breidenbach and Cameron Police Officer Hunter Scheel were killed serving a warrant at a traffic stop. Pope County Josh Owen was killed responding to a domestic violence call. St. Croix County Deputy Kaitie Leising was killed while responding to a suspected drunk driver. 

"They dedicated their lives to service and providing safety for their communities," said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. "Our thoughts continue to be with their families, their loved ones, and their fellow police officers."

"They were people there were people with families, they were people with friends, they were people with neighbors, they were people," said Hennepin County Sheriff Dawanna Witt. "They were people who were uniforms with a badge. And under that uniform, and under that badge, they were a person. Was a person." 

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