MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An overwhelming sign of sorrow and support as thousands of people lined the streets of Wayzata Thursday afternoon to pay their respects to Officer William Mathews.
He was killed when a car hit him Friday afternoon while he was clearning debris off Highway 12. Law enforcement members from across the country stood alongside family, friends, and neighbors in a sea of blue Thursday afternoon along the four mile long procession.
Of the 2,400 who attended the service, 1,900 were law enforcement. Thousands of people stood quietly, waving flags and clutching signs as the stream of squad cars escorted Mathews to his final resting place at Summit Park Cemetery.
It seemed the entire downtown Wayzata paused and crowded sidewalks to pay respects with flags, blue ribbons and sad faces. The town of lakeside leisure has been cast into a grievous loss as stores closed and mourners stood.
“Its a very sad day, he was so committed to the community,” Wayzata store owner Ann Seehof said.
Now a community wrapped in blue sadness. Crowding sidewalks to witness the seemingly endless string of squads.
“We down here to support the community, the family.”
Richard Osberg brought his son Riley to pay respects to an officer he didn’t know.
“This is a hard thing for everybody,” Richard said. “I did not know the family or him, but it hits home.”
Soon the hearse carrying Officer Bill Mathews took him to his final rest, with broken hearts and sadness felt at any age.
The entire, four-mile procession route was covered with blue ribbons, symbolizing the “thin blue line” that separates law enforcement from the public.