New monument unveiled honoring fallen Shreveport police Officer Chatéri Payne
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Next month will make one year since the Shreveport Police Department lost one of its own.
Officer Chatéri Payne was fatally shot outside her home in January as she was getting ready to go to work. Since then, the community has stepped up to help and support her family.
On Saturday, Payne’s family and friends gathered outside of Forest Park West Cemetery, 4000 Meriwether Road in Shreveport, to unveil a monument honoring her life.
A six-month-long project is almost complete.
“It took us about three, almost four months to get the design right,” said Payne’s mother, LaKeitha Nash-Hudson.
Central Monument in Keithville has been working tirelessly to create a monument honoring Payne.
This three-piece memento includes a statue of Payne in uniform after her graduation, a Shreveport police badge detailing her date of birth and end of watch, and a small bench to complete its final look.
Payne’s family and friends soon arrived and were able to finally witness this monument up close.
“I have photos, I have memories, I carry her around in my heart, but I can come here and I can look at it and I can see her," said Nash-Hudson.
The pain is still there, but her family hopes this monument will be a place where those who loved her can come and begin to heal.
“I felt like this would be something for everybody,” said Nash-Hudson. "It’s not just for me. It’s not just for my family. It’s for the whole community that embraced her.”
While Payne’s torch might have hit the ground, the love and support from everyone is what keeps her flame still burning.
“To the community just thank you," said Nash-Hudson. "The city, everybody, thank you all for everything because without the support, I don’t think we could be where we are.”
The family says the majority of the donations they received from the community went into creating this monument.
Forest West Park Cemetery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
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