Family, friends remember fallen MPD officer Jamal Mitchell’s “big heart”

Parents of fallen officer Jamal Mitchell remember his “big heart”

Parents of fallen officer Jamal Mitchell remember his “big heart”


MINNEAPOLIS — Jamal Mitchell’s friends remember him as a changemaker. His family knew him to be a peacekeeper. 

The 38-year-old Minneapolis police officer was determined to make the city a better place for all its residents. 

Jamal had a big heart,” said his mother, Janet Edwards. “He really loved people.” 

Mitchell was killed in a mass shooting in the Whittier neighborhood of south Minneapolis on Thursday evening that left two others dead, including the shooter. Four people were injured. 

Officer Mitchell’s loss is especially felt in his Maple Grove neighborhood, where the streets are lined with American flags, trees are adorned with blue ribbons and porches are glowing with blue lights.

Neighbors said they are mourning the loss of a great guy.

“I saw his father speaking on television with his mother. It just broke my heart,” said Christy Bailly from Minneapolis.

Bailly said she felt compelled to head to the memorial and pay her respects. Her husband wore the badge for four decades.

“I’ve had friends that have gotten killed or injured. It just really becomes apparent that things are getting worse and worse,” said John Oberreuter, Bailly’s husband.

“What a hero and we’re going to miss him,” said Bailly. “He was a great tribute to our city and his fellow officers.”

Police say he was trying to provide medical care to someone when that person shot him. He died later at the hospital.

His parents said getting the call that their son died doing what he loved was a shock, but at the same time, it wasn’t. 

“It was a career that he wanted to pursue, and he chose that,” said his stepfather, Dennis Edwards. “Like they say, he never turned away from people, helping people, or being there to serve with people.”

Mitchell grew up in New Haven, Connecticut; one of 12 children in a blended family. He had a twin, Jamel, but he was the quieter of the two. His parents said he was the peacekeeper of the family. 

“He always had a positive attitude about everything. He was never negative,” said Janet Edwards. “He would always turn that around and make it better for everyone.”

Janet and Dennis Edwards say Mitchell was proud to wear the uniform. He wanted to change community-police relations. 

Minneapolis police officer Jamal Mitchell was killed in the line of duty on Thursday.

Minneapolis Police Department

Mitchell was a regular at Lotus Restaurant in Loring Park, where he quickly became a favorite of all who worked there.

“He had that sense of humor and that human factor to him that’s easily approachable,” said Yoom Nguyen with Lotus Restaurant. “He goes above and beyond, if that makes sense. You know you could count on him.”

Now, an empty chair sits where Mitchell once enjoyed his favorite meal. Nguyen said Mitchell made sure people hanging outside the restaurant were treated with dignity and respect by connecting them with the resources to improve their lives.

Civil Rights activist Michael Wilson says MPD needs more officers like Mitchell.

“He wanted to make change. True change,” Wilson said. “We talked a lot about these changes.”

Wilson said his bravery, compassion, and love of people will be remembered.

Mitchell’s parents want people to never forget their son’s sacrifice. 

“I’m grateful that he went, that he did his job,” said Janet Edwards. “I want to say, ‘well done Jamal. Well done, well done.’ I’m proud that he was my son.”

Mitchell was a father of three: two boys and one girl. He was a fiancé, a brother, an uncle, and a dear friend to many.

Source link

Leave a Comment