Thousands Attend Memorial for Fallen Officer Michael Johnson
On April 2, 2015 dozens of members of the 100 Club of San Mateo County joined thousands of mourners who attended the memorial service for Fallen San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson. Those in attendance included local and state elected officials and dignitaries along with thousands of police officers from throughout the region, state and the nation. The memorial was held at the SAP Center in San Jose, and the attendees filled the arena.
The many speakers at the memorial included California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Bishop Patrick McGrath, and San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel who spoke about the sacrifice that Officer Michael Johnson made on March 24, 2015, along with the sacrifices made by our law enforcement officials on a daily basis. Chief Esquivel, stating that this was "the hardest thing I have ever had to do," recounted being approached by a weeping woman days after the killing of Officer Johnson, who told him that Officer Johnson had recently helped her save her son from going down the "wrong path in life". She described how her son had begun acting out and missing school and how she was concerned he was making bad decisions. Officer Johnson had a long conversation with her son and she told Chief Esquivel that her son had turned himself around. The Chief pointed to this example of Officer Johnson's connection with the community.
Menlo Park Police Officer David Solis, who is a former San Jose Police Officer and academy classmate of Johnson, spoke eloquently about the bond that had been forged with his entire academy class, especially after the killing of fellow classmate, Officer Jeffrey Fontana, shortly after they had graduated the police academy in 2001. Solis spoke about the fact that this changed Officer Johnson and his entire academy class, and urged everyone in attendance to "change the way they live," and that this would be the greatest way to honor the sacrifice of Officer Michael Johnson. Officer Solis, many times speaking through tears, led everyone in the arena in a thunderous standing ovation for Officer Johnson, "not for the way he died, but for the way he lived."
After the memorial service, hundreds of police motorcycles led the funeral procession from the SAP Center to a private burial, passing hundreds of officers and other mourners who lined the streets of San Jose to pay their last respects.
Officer Michael Johnson, known as "Mike" by all of his family and friends was born on December 4, 1976. In 2001, Michael Johnson joined the San Jose Police Academy and graduated on June 15, 2001. During his time with the San Jose Police Department, Officer Johnson worked as a Patrol Officer, Court Liaison, and Prescription Drug Fraud Specialist. At the time of his death, Officer Johnson had recently been promoted to Field Training Officer and assigned to the Covert Response Unit.
Officer Johnson was an avid shooter and had participated with his father in shooting competitions at the US Police and Fire Games.
Officer Johnson and his wife, Nicole ("Nikki"), were married in a civil ceremony on August 3, 2013. They were planning a formal wedding ceremony and reception for August 29, 2015 in Santa Cruz.
Officer Johnson is survived by his wife Nikki, his parents Daniel Johnson and Katherine Decker, his step-parents Dann Decker and Penny Johnson, his grandmother Frances Guillemen, his sister Jamie Radack, his brother-in-law Steve Radack, his niece Ami Radack, his nephew Eli Radack, and his mother and father-in-law Gina and Jameson Stiehr.