In a procession so long it delayed the start of the funeral, law enforcement officers from as far away as Chicago passed the open casket of Det. Terence Avery Green to salute the 22-year veteran cop, ambushed nine days ago in a south Fulton neighborhood.
Amanuel Menghesha, 42, of Fairburn was arrested and charged with his murder, accused of lying in wait for Green, 48, who responded along with three other Fulton County officers. Green, an Atlanta native and father of four, was the first U.S. police officer fatally shot in the line of duty this year.
Sorrow was evident in many eyes Friday – several colleagues fought back tears as they approached Green, attired in his detective’s uniform. Nearly 2,000 mourners, mostly law enforcement, continued to fill the sprawling World Changers Church chapel in College Park up until the invocation.
“I don’t know what to do without you,” his sons Samuel, Isaiah, Marquis and Emanuel (Willie) wrote in the funeral program. “I cry for you every day, my heart breaks for you, how do I go on without you? I need my daddy to hold me through life to teach me wrong from right. “
At the conclusion of the procession Green’s casket was closed and draped with the American flag.
The sacrifices of law enforcement authorities was noted during the service.
“Your lives matter as well,” Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves said, recasting a hashtag popularized on social media following police-involved killings in Ferguson, Mo,. and Staten Island, N.Y.
Green’s mother, Bertha Green, offered comfort to mourners with a poem she wrote that concluded, “I can envision Heaven so plainly and I can see Terence talking with his Savior and he’s as happy as he can be.”
After the service, the procession of officers led Green’s flag-draped coffin to its final resting place at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens cemetery in College Park.