Police officers and citizens moved by the recent killing of SAPD Officer Miguel Moreno gathered Wednesday night in front of the Alamo for a downtown march to the San Antonio Public Safety Headquarters.
Officer Miguel Moreno, 32, was shot by Andrew Bice on June 29 while on a crime prevention patrol with Officer Julio Cavazos. Moreno died from his wound on June 30, and after five days in serious condition Cavazos was released from the hospital Tuesday. Moreno’s funeral is scheduled for Friday, beginning with a procession leaving from the Alamodome.
Leading Wednesday’s march were 19 SAPD officers on bicycles. Immediately behind them were officers, many with personal connections to Moreno, carrying a banner that read “We Back the Blue,” with Moreno’s face next to it.
Black and white American flags with single blue stripes fluttered at the head of the procession. Officers wearing gray T-shirts printed with blue eagles and the slogan “08-BRAVO” on the back carried a white banner that read “March to protect those who protect us.”
“Us, his classmates, and our immediate families, we all came to show our support,” Det. Garay said. “It’s tragic what happened this past week, and I was talking to the organizer to thank him for organizing this vigil, and trying to get as many people as possible to participate.”
Several of those marching wore black T-shirts that read War Affected Minds across the front. The group is largely made up of veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and other wounds from military service.
Chris Martinez is an Army veteran and the founder of War Affected Minds. He’s also the man responsible for organizing the march for Officer Moreno.
“When [Det. Benjamin Marconi] got shot and killed, we decided to … do a march from the Alamo to the Police Headquarters with a silent vigil,” Martinez said. “I made a flyer, posted it, and it blew up.”
Martinez also organized a similar march for recently deceased San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem. San Antonio Fire Department Chaplain A.D. Smoot preceded the downtown march with a prayer spoken to the hundreds gathered in front of the Alamo.
“I pray Lord, God Almighty, that we know that there is a sinister and an evil and a wicked element out there in our society that has no regard, and even has a disdain, for laws, for authority, and for law enforcement,” Smoot prayed. “But I thank you for people like this that are gathered here, that are righteous.”
Marchers walked into a setting sun on their way to the Public Safety Headquarters.
“It’s the respect for our community,” said Jeff Moore, founder of SATX Social Ride. This was the third time Moore had marched in one of these vigil processions, and some 150 other riders accompanied him.
“There’s a lot of people in our group that have family in law enforcement,” Moore said. “It’s always an honor to participate.”
Arriving at Public Safety Headquarters, officers and others signed a banner laid below the shrine to Officer Moreno. SAPD officials closed the event by expressing the department’s gratitude for the outpouring of support the San Antonio community continued to express.
“It gives you a good feeling that the community does care in general,” Det. Garay told the Rivard Report. “They care about us.”