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Hundreds gather to honor Overland Park officer who died from COVID-19

Freddie Castro procession
Posted at 3:37 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 19:20:48-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Hundreds of people and members of law enforcement gathered for a procession to honor an Overland Park officer who died after contracting COVID-19.

Freddie Castro, 23, died last week after testing positive for the virus in July. He was on a ventilator for nearly five weeks at North Kansas City Hospital.

A spokesperson for the department told KSHB 41 that Castro has not received a COVID-19 vaccine.

At least 11 law enforcement agencies, including the Olathe, Bonner Springs, Kansas City, Kansas, Leawood, Shawnee, Fairway, Mission, Merriam and Gardner police departments, attended the procession on Wednesday. The Cass and Platte County Sheriff offices also made an appearance.

As the procession proceeded northbound on Nall Avenue to College Boulevard, cars stopped and people stood on nearby sidewalks paying their respects.

"You usually see a lot of support, which is very, very rare in this day and age for police," OPPD Officer John Lacy said, "but something like this, you see the outpouring, it’s very positive. And when the officers see that, it’s very emotional. But at the same time, they enjoy seeing stuff like that."

Castro began his career in law enforcement as a motorist assist officer when he was 19. He began serving as a police officer when he turned 21.