Police bid farewell to slain officer

October 3, 2008 3:13:25 PM PDT
The bagpipes played as hundreds gathered at a church on the city's Southwest Side Friday to remember the life of Chicago police Officer Nathaniel Taylor Jr.Officer Taylor was shot and killed last Sunday while trying to serve a warrant.

Hundreds of police officers stood at attention during the emotional procession Friday morning at St. Bede Catholic church on the Southwest Side. There wasn't enough room inside the church. So, most of the officers listened to the service outside.

Taylor was remembered for his bravery and his dedication to his family and to his job serving the public. Officers who knew him best say they will never forget his sense of humor.

"He was always there. No matter what the situation, that was just Nate. He brought cheer into the room wherever he went," said friend Dennis Dobson.

The officer's friends called him Nate. He graduated from South Shore High School in 1987, then joined the Marines. After serving in Desert Storm, Taylor returned to Chicago and joined the police department, becoming a tactical officer fighting drugs and gangs. During his 14 years with the department, he earned dozens of honorable mentions and commendations.

"I'm going to miss being able to talk to him, confide in him and receiving advice. Nate was my first partner when we got out of the academy," said Officer Necole Bryson, one of Taylor's best friends.

Friday's funeral service lasted approximately two hours.

Donna Marquez lost her brother, Chicago police Officer Donald Marquez in 2002. She said Taylor's funeral was an accurate representation of the pride within the Chicago Police Department.

"Both of them were awesome officers. Everything they said about my brother, they said about Officer Taylor. They're tender but tough, great men," she said.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich spoke at the funeral.

"With regard to Officer Taylor, he now joins a long line of fallen heroes, and I believe there is special place in heaven closer to God for police officers, soldiers, firefighters and those who died protecting the rest of us," the governor said.

The man accused of killing Officer Taylor, 37-year-old Lamar Cooper, is in custody. He has been charged with first degree murder.

Taylor was laid to rest at Lincoln Cemetery in Alsip. He leaves behind his wife, Alcione, and his 5-year-old daughter, Naomi.


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