Locals gather with state assemblyman to honor slain Lemoore Police Officer Jonathan Diaz

By The Leader Staff
Assemblyman Rudy Salas with friends and public members honoring former Lemoore Police Officer Jonathan Diaz.
Assemblyman Rudy Salas with friends and public members honoring former Lemoore Police Officer Jonathan Diaz.
Photo Contributed to The Leader

Members of the community and law enforcement officials joined Assemblyman Rudy Salas for a tree planting ceremony honoring the legacy and sacrifice of former Lemoore Police Officer Jonathan Diaz, tragically killed in the line of duty in 2019, while responding to a domestic violence call.

Because of Officer Diaz’s heroic actions, he saved the life of a pregnant woman and got her to safety before the situation escalated. The ceremony was also held in recognition of Crime Victims’ Rights week with other families who have been impacted by crime.

“Officer Diaz was a true hero who showed the utmost bravery and selflessness, even in the face of grave danger,” said Salas. “Officer Diaz’s actions helped save the lives of a pregnant mother by putting himself in harm's way during her time of need. We must work together to end domestic violence and the tragedy it can bring upon our families. I am glad that the community came together to honor the legacy of Officer Diaz during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with a tree dedication to ensure that his service and legacy lives on.”

Since 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week has been a time to renew a commitment to serving all victims of crime, to acknowledge the achievements in victim services and allied professions, to honor those who have gone above and beyond in their service to others, and to remember crime victims and survivors.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, struggles of victims of domestic violence have worsened. California’s stay-at-home orders left many victims trapped with their abusers. Worryingly, calls to domestic violence hotlines and service providers dropped significantly, with some regions seeing more than a 50 percent decrease in calls.

Salas introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 673 to address this issue, which would help local nonprofits receive funding quickly and ensure that California can operate as many domestic violence shelters as possible and reduce the possibility for violent interactions between partners.

For the tree dedication ceremony, the local assemblyman joined a host of community leaders, crime victims’ families, and groups including Hanford Parks and Recreation, Kings County Sheriff’s Office, Kings County District Attorney, Keith Fagundes, Kings County Victim Witness, Kings County Community Action Organization, Councilmember Francisco Ramirez, Tree Fresno, and Hanford Granite.

The community gathered for this ceremony to plant a tree at Hope Trail, near the home of Officer Diaz’s mother, who attended the event with the Diaz family. United States Navy Chaplin David Wooten also joined to recite a prayer before the tree planting.

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