Officers bike to Washington D.C. in honor of fallen Shelby police officer

This weekend, a handful of officers will start a 500 mile bike ride to honor Tim Brackeen, a Shelby officer killed in 2016 while serving a search warrant.

That ride, called the Road To Hope, will take them to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. It kicks off Saturday morning at Bethel Baptist Church in Shelby, which is right across the street from the home where Brackeen was shot and killed seven years ago.

His supervisor that night is one of the beneficiaries of this ride.

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Lt. Gabe McKinney can’t forget Brackeen.

“He was my best friend,” McKinney said.

McKinney was one of the first officers to respond in September 2016 when Brackeen was shot while serving a warrant. He couldn’t help his best friend survive that shooting, but five years later, he was helped by Brackeen’s legacy.

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“I cried,” McKinney said. “It made me feel happy.”

McKinney needed a knee replacement after tussling with a suspect. He was out of work for eight months and insurance only covered part of his paycheck. That’s when Road to Hope showed up.

“They surprised me with paying my mortgage,” McKinney said.

Road To Hope is a group started by Tim Brackeen’s brother, Stephen.

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“We have helped folks that have children. They are having cancer treatment, and we helped two different times with folks that have had a total fire loss,” Stephen Brackeen said.

In six years, Road To Hope has raised $100,000 from sponsors of their memorial bike ride. The money goes to struggling officers in and around Shelby.

“We are able to help people that normally would never ask for help,” Brackeen said.

He said this effort is modeled on stories he heard about his brother’s kindness.

“Replacing a single mother’s alternator on her car after it broke down in a parking lot, and he brought the alternator for the lady,” Brackeen said.

On Saturday, they’ll start the weeklong trek to the Law Enforcement Memorial. They’ll return with tired legs but plenty of hope.

Stephen Brackeen said the riders will make dozens of stops at officer memorials and spots where officers were killed to honor those who died in the line of duty.

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