Officers with the New Mexico State Police, the Cherokee Indian Police Department, and the Navajo Nation Police Department will be honored this year at the 25th Annual Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial.
The annual ceremony, conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Indian Police Academy (IPA), recognizes tribal, state, local and federal law enforcement officers working on federal Indian lands and in tribal communities who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. This year’s memorial will honor the deaths of NMSP Officer Nash Garcia, Officer Anthony “Tony” Edward Lossiah of the CIPD, and Officer Alex Kee Yazzie of the NNPD.
Garcia, 38, was killed April 11, 1952, while in pursuit of two suspects on the Acoma Indian Reservation. Garcia was ambushed and killed by the two subjects, who fired nine shots into his patrol unit door from 100 yards and 50 feet away. Garcia managed to open the door and fall to the ground, at which point the suspects beat him to death with their weapons, then drove his body into reservation land, where they
abandoned it. Both suspects were later convicted of his murder.
Yazzie, 42, was shot and killed March 19, 2015, near Red Valley, Ariz., while pursuing a suspect who had shot at another officer responding to a domestic violence call in Little Water Trading Post, N.M. The suspect opened fire on officers who located him in Red Valley, killing Yazzie and wounding two others.
Lossiah died Oct. 6, 2015, also at the age of 38, in Asheville, N.C., as a result of injuries sustained during an Aug. 11, 2015, incident. While chasing a suspect wanted on larceny and armed robbery charges in several area counties, Lossiah tore a muscle in his hip and suffered internal bleeding that led to additional complications from which he was unable to recover.
The Indian Country Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 5, at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), near the facility’s main entrance off of 13th Street just north of Richey Avenue.
The public is invited to attend and honor the officers, whose names will be added to the National Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Memorial at the FLETC.