Brier honors fallen officer

BRIER — A new park bench outside the Brier Police Department was recently dedicated in memory of fallen police officer Edwanton Thomas, who died in the line of duty Sept. 12, 2006.

The memorial bench was purchased by a Brier couple who knew Thomas. They collected money from people to pay for the bench, Brier Police Chief Don Lane said.

“It’s great, we’ve had nothing but outpouring from the community as far as Eddie goes,” Lane said. “For them to do that was just fabulous, that they’d take the time and do that for him.

“They wanted to do something in his memory,” Lane said.

Family, friends and co-workers of Thomas dedicated the bench during a ceremony at the Brier Police Department on the one-year anniversary of his death.

Thomas’ mother, Diane Thomas, is planning an annual food drive in her son’s honor, Lane said.

Thomas, who was 28, had wanted to be a police officer since he was a boy.

He died from a heart condition after a struggle with former Brier Mayor Gary Starks, according to the Snohomish County medical examiner. Thomas went to the former mayor’s home after Starks’ wife reported that her husband, a diabetic, needed medical attention.

Starks has since apologized to Thomas’ family. The former mayor was irrational during the struggle with Thomas because his blood sugar was dangerously low.

Snohomish County prosecutors in June said Starks will face no charges in the case.

More than 1,200 people attended the memorial service for the Brier police officer. Thomas was the first Brier officer to die in the line of duty in the department’s history.

“Everybody knew Eddie,” Lane said.

— Scott Pesznecker Herald Writer

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