The deputy sheriff was gunned down more than 1,000 miles from Missy Rumble's Blaine doorstep.
Yet the graphic news accounts of the fatal ambush-style shooting while Texan Darren Goforth was pumping gas in August shook Rumble to action.
"I was watching the news and saw police officers being killed just for doing their jobs," said Rumble, the daughter of a retired Coon Rapids police officer.
Rumble is now the force behind the Police Lives Matter concert and rally planned in Coon Rapids on Friday, Oct. 23. More than 650 people have already indicated they will attend on the event's Facebook page.
Anoka County's highest-ranking law enforcement officer, Sheriff James Stuart, has thrown his support behind the free event. He will address the crowd at Coon Rapids American Legion Post 334.
"They had reached out that they wanted to do an event in Coon Rapids in light of the war being waged against law enforcement," Stuart said. "We need to get away from the propaganda. We need to look at the real statistics. It's amazing how good the outcomes can be when we sit down and talk to each other."
The Coon Rapids event's name is a play on the Black Lives Matter movement that emerged in 2013 to protest police brutality against black Americans.
Nationwide, some Black Lives Matter supporters have criticized the refrain "All Lives Matter" and other variations on their slogan, arguing that it is culturally tone-deaf and ignores decades of institutional racism and police brutality.
Lena K. Gardner, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, said she did not know about the Police Lives Matter rally and declined to comment.
Rumble also declined to express an opinion on the Black Lives Matter rallies taking place in the Twin Cities and in cities across the country.
"I don't know that group well enough to have any thoughts on them," said Rumble, an administrative assistant. "I know I'd rather show support than protest."
She said grass-roots support for the event has been overwhelming. Three bands will perform. There will be a silent auction and donations collected for the Officer Down Memorial Page, a charity honoring fallen officers.
Sheriff Stuart said that in his remarks, he'd advise all groups to dump divisive slogans and focus on fostering police-community relations.
"The message we keep hearing is 'black lives matter' or 'blue lives matter.' Every time we attach a color to it, it is so divisive," Stuart said.
"We embrace the fact that we serve and protect everyone."
Duane Kropuenske, a volunteer facilitator at the American Legion post, said organizers expect an overflow crowd.
"We have our entire staff booked to work, plus 30 volunteers," he said.
Kropuenske said a positive police event will reflect what many in the community feel.
"I don't think this is a negative effort to criticize any other group," he said. "It's strictly a positive one to compliment law enforcement."
In the north metro, many officers coach youth sports and volunteer, Kropuenske said.
"Our entire board feels we owe something to law enforcement in the area," he said.
"It's a dangerous job, and most of the time a thankless job. … We thought it was a great opportunity to show our support."