AUSTIN, Texas – The widow of an Austin police officer who recently died in a crash was “crushed” by the disrespect demonstrated by the mayor who dozed off during the funeral service on Monday.
Officer Anthony “Tony” Martin of the Austin Police Department was killed in a collision while driving home from work at 5:56 a.m. on Sept. 23. He had just finished the night shift when a vehicle turned in front of him at an intersection in Liberty Hill. The collision remains under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Martin’s funeral was held on Monday. During the service, Austin Mayor Steve Adler — who has had a contentious relationship with the city’s police department during his nearly eight years in office — was pictured “taking a nap,” Law Officer reported.
Martin’s widow, Amberlee Martin, was “crushed” by the observable flippancy during a time of attentive reverence. In a letter, she said she was “wondering at what point in the service you (Adler) found comfort in sleep. Because I have not slept in over (a) week.”
As she expressed her sorrow, she continued, “This service wasn’t just a checklist for us. It was the honor & respect of a man who has served his country and community his WHOLE life.”
Finally, she concluded, “I know he doesn’t mean anything to you but could you have at least pretended for just one hour.”
Officer Anthony “Tony” Martin (Austin Police Department)
The Austin Police Association shared the letter written by Amberlee Martin. It is included in its entirety below:
The Austin Police Association asks for your continued thoughts and prayers for the Martin family. Interment services took place Tuesday at Texas State Veterans Cemetery with military honors in Abilene.
When confronted with his faux pas, Adler issued a statement after Monday’s funeral service.
“I want to express my deepest apologies to the family of Officer Martin. Officer Martin died 10 days ago and will forever be honored as a hero. This moment should be about him and his family, including his two daughters whose words today pierced my heart as a father. I hold Officer Martin in the highest regard. May his memory be a blessing to his family, and to the city he served.”