Police officers in the blue, green, gray and brown uniforms of the departments in the Washington area and other major East Coast cities stood at attention yesterday outside McKendree Methodist Church as six District police officers carried the casket of slain D.C. police Officer Bruce W. Wilson to a Cadillac hearse. Wilson, 27, was shot Monday while conducting an undercover drug investigation.
"Look at all these policemen, it could have been any one of them," said Sgt. Rose Coates, who was dressed in the brown uniform of the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office.
"Thank God for men like him who devote their lives to stopping drugs," Coates said, explaining that drugs are of a special concern to her because she is the mother of a 9-year-old.
Wilson's casket was taken to Ft. Lincoln Cemetery after the hearse bearing it was driven past the seventh district police station, 1324 MIssissippi Ave. SE. where Wilson had been assigned.
Police officers from the seventh district stood at attention as the dark blue hearse went by, followed by more than two miles of police cars from several police departments.
Wilson, a five-year veteran of the force, who worked as an undercover narcotics officer before becoming an investigator with the seventh district vice squad, was shot once in the head MOnday afternoon as he searched an alley for drugs he believed might have been discarded by a suspect during an arrest.
Police have charged Avon Alexander, of 4347 Martin Luther King Ave. SW, with homicide in the officer's death.
Officer Jack Clements, of the Mount Rainier Police Department, stood outside in the strong midday sun yesterday while the slain officer's family and city dignitaries eulogized him in the church.
"I lost my brother (who was also a Mount Rainier policeman) in '68," Clements said. "He was gunned down while towing a car."
It is not my duty to be here," he added, "but I wouldn't feel right if I didn't take time out to honor a man who lost his life in the same line of work as I do."
Wilson is survived by his wife, Tawana Belinda Wilson, a 2-year-old son, Bruce Jr., his mother and father, Marcette Alexander and Louie Wilson; his grandmother and five brothers and sisters.