Raleigh police honor slain detective and Dallas police

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A wreath-laying was held Monday on the 19th anniversary of the killing of Paul Hale (WTVD)

The sound of wailing bagpipes pierced the noontime air in downtown Raleigh Monday during a ceremony to mark 19 years since Raleigh police detective Paul Hale was murdered.

Hale, who was just 35, was trying to arrest a man already suspected of another murder when the man, Kwame Mays, shot Hale in the head.

Among those at Monday's ceremony at the Raleigh Police Memorial outside City Hall was Hale's daughter. Jessie Tesh was just 10 when her father was gunned down and Monday she brought her three-and-a-half year-old son with her. Parker Tesh knows his grandfather only through pictures and his mother's stories.

"He knows his grandpa was a police officer," Jessie Tesh said, "and that he's in heaven as his special guardian angel."

Jessie says that as the anniversary of her father's killing approached, she watched in horror last week as the nation exploded first with the controversial deaths of two black men at the hands of police and then the killings of five Dallas police officers.

"It's really hard to watch," she said after the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown told the crowd, "As we celebrate the lives of our fallen officers we cannot help but to reflect on the events that have occurred in Dallas."

Deck-Brown was a sergeant on that fateful day when Hale was gunned down in East Raleigh and remembers it all too well.

"Your heart is heavy," she said after the ceremony. "It's not heavy for one day it's heavy for lifetime, forever."

Deck-Brown, who is personally acquainted with Dallas' police chief, says there is plenty of irony in what happened in that Texas city.

She says the killing of the officers will forever be the even that binds together the citizens protesting what they believe is police bias and the force itself. And she adds that what happens now matters to everyone in America.

"How we can find that way to build on that relationship is something that we all have to pay close attention to and reflect that through action."

In the meantime, Paul Hale's daughter is empathetic with the families of the five fallen officers.

"They say time heals. It doesn't heal it gets easier. But, you know, lots of people are praying for them, thinking about them," Tesh said.

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