CHICAGO – A private family funeral was held Thursday morning for the third Chicago police officer to die from COVID-19.
Ronald Newman, 59, was a 19-year police veteran with more than 130 awards. He was assigned to the 4th District on the city’s South Side.
Newman left behind a son, step-daughter, and his wife, who works as a works as a civilian employee for the Office of Community Policing.
Newman last reported for duty on March 22. Four days later, he was in the hospital battling COVID-19.
During a small private service Thursday, the eulogist shared memories of watching ’70s TV cop shows, which often ended with cliffhangers in the middle of the action.
“That’s how I think about brother Ronald. Living life to the fullest. Doing his thing,” he said. “Being who he is. Serving. Loving. And all of a sudden, flashing across the screen right before our very eyes is ‘to be continued.”
Only a handful of family members were allowed into the service to see Newman’s casket drapped with the Chicago flag.
Our hearts know that this can’t be the end. There had to be something much more,” he said. ““I know that we know that Brother Ron is in a better place, but death is hard. It is hard for us to comprehend its mystery that we call death, we have to ask Lord why must it come and why must it leave such an emptiness inside of us.”
From a safe distance outside, the city tried to wrap its support around Newman’s family.
Each time a first responder dies of COVID-19, there is an impule to speak of the officer as a hero. New Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said it’s just as important to remember them as a human.
“We always want to make sure that we humanize and we understand that these are fathers and sons who have young children and their mothers and fathers that worry about them every day,” Brown said. “And yet, they leave home not knowing whether they will return.”
Newman was assigned to the 4th District on the South Side. He is the second CPD officer and the third first responder to be buried this week from COVID-19.
His hearse rolled slowely behind two mounted CPD officers, who led Officer Newman to his final resting place.
He was buried at Lincoln Cemetery in Blue Island.
So far, 374 members of the Chicago Police Department have tested positive for COVID-19 with three passing away from the virus.