New Orleans, La. - Reginald Jackson turned 51 last Sunday. The morning began with a phone call - his brother, older by just one year, was gone.
"I would say we were bad grass, you couldn't get rid of us," says Jackson. "But I guess you can."
Those closest to NOPD Officer Rodney Thomas joined his extended family outside of NOPD's 2nd District headquarters.
Thomas died early Sunday morning when a car slammed into him and took off. Investigators say Thomas was involved in a minor accident on his way home from work and got out of his car to check on the other driver and direct traffic.
Jackson says it's what he would always do.
"We did things, like we would drive around, see someone broken down, their vehicles and we would get out and help them, put their tires back on, do things like that," he says. "That was something that we really connected with and I learned those things from him."
This candlelight vigil precedes a day of mourning for the department. Officers from other districts will cover shifts here Friday so Thomas's co-workers can attend his funeral.
"Officer Thomas is going to pass here in front of the 2nd District station," says District Commander Paul Noel. "There'll be rows of officers on each side lined up just giving him the final salute here as he passes the place where he came to work."
Noel says that place seems so quiet without Thomas. The officer loved to talk, loved to smile and lived to serve.
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:33:06 GMT
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