As a photographer, I have the chance to cover a lot of events and capture a lot of moments. Nothing; however, could prepare me for covering the funeral of a police officer. Last Monday, twitter and the news as awash with the news of a police shooting, a manhunt, and later in the day; the death of a police officer. I knew, when the news broke that Detective Lancaster had died that I would be covering the memorial. So what happened, that is what I was asked the most over the last few days. From my understanding; detective Lancaster, a nine year veteran of the Kansas City, Kansas Police force was responding to a call for help from other officers. He was responding to the search for a suspicious person, when he approached the suspect, he was shot five times. The suspect then fled, shooting several other people later that day, and kidnapping two kids. That afternoon, police cornered him and shot him while taking him into custody. At around 3:30 PM on May 9, 2016, Detective Lancaster succumbed to his injuries and passed away at KU Medical Center, in Kansas City. He left behind a wife, and two young daughters. Below is a copy of his Obituary from the Kansas City Star.
[ut_alert color=”white”]Detective Brad D. Lancaster, 39, was tragically called home due to injuries he received while protecting our city on Monday, May 9, 2016 in Kansas City, Kansas. Services will start at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 14th, at Children’s Mercy Park (Home of Sporting KC), 1 Sporting Way, Kansas City, Kansas 66111. Police Department Honors and Military Services will follow in Graceland Cemetery, Weston, Missouri. His family will receive friends from 4pm until 8pm on Friday, May 13th at Trinity Community Church, 5010 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas 66104. Born on September 13, 1976 in Smithville, Missouri, Brad was always committed to serving others before himself. He was a U.S. Air Force Veteran and Top Gun Award Winner, who after his Basic Training in San Antonio, served a tour as a Military Policeman in Kuwait during Desert Shield, and then a tour in Saudi Arabia. In addition to serving as a Platte County Sheriff’s Deputy from 1998 to 2007, he was a West Platte Volunteer Firefighter. Brad has served the last decade with the Kansas City Kansas Police Department. It was no surprise that as the Valedictorian Graduate of the Academy, he was a natural at police work and quickly rose to the rank of Detective. Brad was a huge Kansas City Royals fan and thoroughly enjoyed being outdoors. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved camping, rafting, kayaking, and zip lining. He excelled at barbequeing and smoking, and he liked it so much he even made his own smokers. He will always be remembered as a great dad, husband, son and brother, who loved spending time with his family. He loved the Fourth of July, and always entertained his family and friends with the stories he created. Brad could build almost anything, and was especially savvy with math and computers. Left behind to mourn his passing are his wife, Jamie Lancaster; 2 daughters, Brianna and Jillian; his mother, Carolynn Lancaster; his sister, Tammy Menter; nephew, Cody Menter; niece, Kaley Lancaster; great niece, Holland Segoviano; aunt, Martha VanDyke; as well as many other family members and friends. Contributions to the family can be sent to the Brad Lancaster Memorial Fund in care of the Kansas City Police Department, 700 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 66101. Condolences may be left at www.chapelhill-butler.com, as arrangements are under the direction of Chapel Hill-Butler Funeral Home, 701 North 94th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66112. Chapel Hill-Butler Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens. Dignity Memorial.
Published in Kansas City Star on May 12, 2016
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On the day of the funeral, I arrived at Children’s Mercy Park. I was immediately overwhelmed by the sheer number of people, it seemed as if there was a soccer game going on there; although, everyone wasn’t smiling, and they were dressed in black, their badges adorned the all too familiar black band. As I pulled in there were two fire trucks with a giant flag creating an entry way for the cars. I noticed the large number of police cars as well, at this point in the morning, almost 200. I parked and walked in. These are the photos from the memorial service held in the Sporting KC stadium.
After the memorial service was completed, the Kansas City, Kansas police force left to begin preparations for the procession. Then everyone was dismissed and welcomed to join the procession to the graveside in Weston, Missouri. Detective Lancaster’s home town. It took police, and staff of Sporting KC about an hour to shut down the streets and get the route ready for detective Lancaster’s final ride. Here are the photos of the procession once it began.
This was the hardest set of all to capture, not because I was in a moving vehicle. This was tremendously moving to see, all along the highway, the bridges, the on/off ramps, the overlooks and the bluffs were people waving, holding signs, displaying the American flag, and saluting. There were somber faces, some with tears running down their faces. Kansas City showed up, to pay their respects to a man, that most, like myself; had never met. However; Detective Brad Lancaster, had touched us all. His courage and bravery in the face of danger was tantamount to the soldiers that have fought for us overseas. Here are the photos of the procession on the ride to Weston, Missouri.
Weston, Missouri is a small town about 35 miles north of the big city. Nestled in the rural hills and farm country of Missouri. The total population is approximately 1,600. The quite hills were startled alive by the cacophonous thunder from the motorcycles of the funeral procession. It took about 15-20 minutes for everyone to park, this was especially difficult as it was a small cemetery. Neighbors welcomed the mourning officers, letting them park in their driveways and on the side roads. Once everyone had gathered at the grave site, Rev. Mark Holland delivered, the final words. TAPS was played, the three-volleys (commonly confused for a 21 gun salute), and a moment of silence. Then as the service was concluding two police helicopters flew over in formation. At the conclusion of the service, a memorial End of Watch was played over the police radio by a Kansas City, Kansas dispatcher. These are the photos from the final memorial service.
On a personal note: I would like to express my personal gratitude and thanks to the officers that risk their lives every day to keep us safe. My thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the Lancaster family. The Brad Lancaster Memorial Fund has been set up to help the families of officers involved in line of duty deaths. Please consider donating to help the cause.
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