LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Dozens of law enforcement agencies from across Arkansas escorted Sgt. Mike Stephen’s body to the state crime lab in Little Rock Thursday afternoon.
One by one patrol cars and motorcycles lit the way for a brother who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“It’s an honor to do it,” said Bryant Police Chief Carl Minden. “The fellow officers that carry down the body, you don’t want them to be alone,”
Minden stopped along the procession and helped stand guard as Stone County Deputy Mike Stephen’s body passed.
“The call goes out it was answered,” Minden said. “You just kind of feel like you need to be there.”
They never met, but news of the domestic call turned shooting that killed Stephen hits close to home.
“It’s emotional every time you see it because it could be one of your officers, one of your friends, you,” he added.
A trail of blue rolled from Stone County to Little Rock, stopping at the Arkansas State Crime Lab.
“It’s the stark reality of what we do to be honest,” Minden said.
Sirens silenced and tears fell, as law enforcement from across the state formed a line outside the lab.
“Sergeant Stephen started this morning and obviously didn’t know how it was going to end,” Minden said.
For Minden it’s about saluting a brother in blue, whose loss is only just being realized.
“He laid down his life for another, and he paid the ultimate price but we’re still going to be there for his family,” he said.
The Stone County Sheriff’s office didn’t speak at the processional, but put a statement on Facebook thanking everyone for their support and saying, “our family lost a great man who wore the badge with pride and honor.”