NEW ORLEANS -- Fallen NOPD officer Marcus McNeil was a 2006 graduate of St. Augustine High School where alumni say an indescribable bond is made.
“This brotherhood is unlike any other in the country,” said Cmdr. Derek Frick.
“That school puts something in you that can never be taken away,” said Lt. Jenerio Sanders.
“That brotherhood, that stewardship, that wanting to help your fellow man, that was instilled in us at St. Aug,” added Sgt. David Duplantier.
St. Aug alumni who are also a part of NOPD say everything they learned at St. Augustine is one of the reasons why so many graduates are now on the police force. They also say losing a Purple Knight and a brother in blue hurts.
“When we lose a Purple Knight, like we lost Officer McNeil, it's tough on all of us,” said Ofc. Stephen Harrell, who lost a brother in the line of duty as well.
Sgt. Duplantier says of McNeil, “he was a good man, he really was. Always smiling, positive attitude. It hurts; it hurts to lose him.”
Campus minister at St. Augustine High School Father Tony Ricard says, “I once heard someone say ‘pride is a sin’ and I guess that's one level that Purple Knights must be sinning because we are so proud of all of our officers, but especially those who have given their lives in the line of duty because it's the ultimate sacrifice.”
Six graduates from St. Augustine have made the ultimate sacrifice on the police force:
Alfred E. Harrell – 1972
Darren Ahmed – 1992
Talton E. Jett, St. – 1992
Joseph Thomas – 1996
Daryle S. Holloway – 2015
Marcus McNeil - 2017
NOPD may not have these officers on the streets anymore, but they now have one more Purple Knight watching over them.
“The love, the brotherhood, indescribable and we carry it to our grave,” Sgt. Duplantier said. “Once a Purple Knight, always a Purple Knight.”
Visitation will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 8 to 10 a.m. at Household of Faith Church at 9300 I-10 Service Road, with funeral services immediately following. Internment will take place at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 4000 Norman Mayer Drive.
An account has been established with Whitney Bank to accept donations from anyone wishing to help support McNeil's family. The account is titled "Marcus McNeil Benefit Fund," and donations can be deposited at any Whitney Bank location.