A year later, Officer Floyd East Jr. honored during memorial

A year later, Officer Floyd East Jr. honored during memorial

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

It has been a year since 20-year-old Hollis Daniels reportedly confessed to murdering Texas Tech Police Officer Floyd East Jr. 

Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement, administrators, and students gathered at Memorial Circle on campus to honor East's life. 

"We all take it in granted that we can come ago, into our buildings, into our libraries, into our restaurants, we can come and go and we never have to worry about it because of folks like Officer East," Texas Tech Interim Chancellor Tedd Mitchell said. 

Tech Police Chief Kyle Bonath said while it has not been easy to cope, his sacrifice is a daily reminder why officers wear their badge. 

"Officer East embodies our core values at Texas Tech police department, which we in law enforcement always try to obtain, duty integrity honor, and service," Bonath said. 

Mitchell believes it is a tragedy that will never be forgotten.

"Today is just a good reminder of all the hard work of every one of our law enforcement does, day in, day out, evening in, evening out, to make sure that the children that come here, the young adults that come here, are protected and taken care of by our community," Mitchell said.

For Senior Isiah Rodriguez, it did not take long for him to recall where he was the night of the shooting. Despite the tragedy, he tells us it has only made the Tech community stronger. 

"This officer died trying to protect us and just making sure we don't forget that, to make sure that we understand how lucky we are," Rodriguez said. 

Hanging on a wall in the police department, in East's memory is a his badge. 

"Badge number 635 will never be worn again in the Texas Tech police department," Bonath said. 

That badge is the symbol for an organization, Texas 635. It was established by the East family with the goal to help other families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. 

"Less than a year of suffering a tragic loss of their father and their husband, they have started a foundation to give back to others," Bonath said.

Bonath believes it is a reminder to keep moving forward and continue serving others.
    
"The one thing we told all our officers and everybody is that we can't second guess what occurred, you can't go back and fix it," Bonath said. "You can't look in the past, you just have to look into the future." 

The Saddle Tramps dedicate a bell to Tech PD. Later this month, a boulder will be placed outside the department, a timeless dedication to Officer Floyd East Jr. 

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