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Tunnell memorial rededication - KOAM TV 7

Tunnell memorial rededication

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Sunday marks the anniversary of the death of Miami police officer Brian Jeffrey "BJ" Tunnell. Tunnell was shot and killed in the line of duty while assisting another officer in 1988.

Tunnell was a lifelong Miami resident who always dreamed of serving his community in his capacity as an officer of the law. Along with the naming of "BJ Tunnell" Boulevard in Miami, a memorial stone sits off the boulevard near a park. Last year, the stone was hit in a car accident. A crowd of over a hundred people gathered Saturday to re-dedicate the stone and remember Tunnell.

"I know when mom was alive she was a little taken aback that people didn't remember. So this is very important that we take the time to recall, remember and learn from it," Greg Tunnell, one of BJ's six brothers said.

Different speakers took turns remembering Tunnell and his time with Miami police. None of the current Miami police department force worked with Tunnell.

"Bryan was a hero. Born and raised in this city, graduated school, always had a desire to be a police officer, gave his life serving and protecting this city. This was a city he loved. He took an oath to serve and protect and he took it to the bitter end," former co-worker and current Wyandotte Nation police officer Ken Brodrick said.

Last year alone, 128 law enforcement officers lost their lives in the line of duty in the United States alone. Every time another officer is killed, it brings back memories for Tunnell's family of that Sunday afternoon gone wrong.

"It's a difficult time and it's a senseless crime and you're asking "why" but you'll never have that answer. You'll never know why it happens. You can get all the details but you'll never know why. And that's hard on families," Tunnell said.

Current Miami police chief Thomas Anderson said the department as a whole is very close-knit and will always honor Tunnell's memory as a brother in law enforcement.

"I hope everyone that drives on BJ Tunnell Boulevard, if they don't know the story, google the name "BJ Tunnell". Pull into the monument, stop and read the monument, ask a local police officer," Brodrick said.
 

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