WEST VALLEY CITY (ABC4 Utah News) – Hundreds gathered near City Hall Wednesday night to remember the life of a young police officer who was killed in the line of duty.
25 year old Officer Cody Brotherson was fatally struck by a feeing car as he attempted to lay down spike strips early Sunday morning.
Three days later, his empty patrol car sat covered with flowers, flags, notes and messages of support from friends, fellow officers and complete strangers, serving as the focal point of a an emotional candlelight vigil.
It was an hour of music, laughter and tears, sometimes at the same time as coworkers and family remembered the West Valley City native.
“Cody loved to play pranks,” his father Jeff Brotherson said. “He was a prankster. Recite movie lines he felt were loosely based on his life, crack a joke and he was definitely positive he was going to be the next Chopped champion. He could turn a can of Spaghetti-Os and a ham sandwich into a five course meal.”
“We came up with this idea to bring the community and our police family together to grieve as one,” West Valley City Police Chief Lee Russo said. “To appreciate the sacrifice of a young, exceptional police officer to celebrate life and appreciate how fragile life can be at times.”
Cody’s mother Jenny told ABC4 Utah News that she was “numb” but thankful for all the support the family is receiving.
“These cops don’t get the credit that they deserve,” she said. “They don’t get the respect that they deserve and we want to make sure Cody’s sacrifice is never forgotten. Ever.”
“We are beyond devastated at the loss of our Cody James,” Jeff said while choking back sobs at the podium. “Cody we love you and miss you. Although you were but one man you have thousands of brothers and sisters who are the same as you. Cody you will rest knowing you live in our hearts forever. Rest in peace my son. We love you.”
Officer Brotherson was engaged to be married. His fiancé Jessica attended the vigil but did not speak at the ceremony.
Officer Brotherson’s funeral is scheduled for 10 am Monday, November 14th at Maverik Center with burial to follow at Valley View Cemetery.
An account has been set up for the Brotherson family at America First Credit Union. The Account Name is: Officer Cody Brotherson and the Account Number is 9089772.