HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – More than six years ago, Huntsville police officer Eric Freeman was shot and killed after responding to the scene of a traffic accident in south Huntsville. Four years ago, Eric’s son, Cameron, learned about the Police Unity Tour, a bike ride to honor fallen officers.
Now that Cameron is 18, he feels it’s his turn to keep his father’s memory alive.
Cameron will make the 250-mile bike ride with his grandfather this weekend and he knows it won’t be easy.
“Distance is going to be tough,” said Cameron. “And it’s not as much my legs getting tired, it’s the seat, it’s not going to be very comfortable. I’m excited more than anything though.”
The two will start their journey in Portsmouth, Virginia on Saturday and finish in Washington D.C. on Monday.
In order to participate, each rider had to raise $2,000. The money will go to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in D.C.
After a nearly year-long fundraising effort, both are ready to ride for officers who lost their lives on the job, including Cameron’s father.
“We’re doing this to honor police officers who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty,” said Cameron’s grandfather C.L. Duck.
“I like being able to honor my dad,” said Cameron. “I like being able to do something for him.”
While his father didn’t actively ride, Cameron knows that if he were still around Eric would be riding right beside him.
“He’d call me crazy, but he’d probably try to do it with us,” said Cameron.
Cameron’s grandfather will be beside him on this adventure and he can’t wait to experience it.
“It is huge,” said Duck. “His dad was a very special person. To be able to do this with Cameron has been something that I’ve looked forward to for a long time. It’s going to be special.”
Cameron will also wear a commemorative bracelet during his ride in honor of his father’s memory. He will also wear one to honor the memory of State Trooper James Michael Sauter of Illinois. Duck will wear for Sergeant Leonard Robert Luna of California. Both plan to give their bracelets to the officers’ families once they reach Washington D.C.
They will then spend all of next week in the area to participate in other National Police Week activities.
As for Cameron’s future, he will graduate from New Century Technology High School shortly after he returns from the nation’s capital. Then he plans to go to Jacksonville State University in the fall to study criminal justice.
Check back here for updates on Cameron’s ride this weekend.