Nashville man brings comfort with sign after officer's death
By Associated Press
By JASON GONZALES The Tennessean
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - When 51-year-old Robert Brown heard that a Nashville police officer died during a Thursday morning river rescue, he decided to write a message to emergency officials to comfort them as they drove to and from the scene near his house.
So with a refrigerator box Brown had laying around his house off of Neelys Bend Road, he made a sign: "Rest in Peace Officer Eric. Thank you for your service."
Brown also placed a small cross by the sign, and he plans to fill his yard with 44 more to honor the age of Officer Eric Mumaw, the 18-year department veteran who died trying to rescue a woman whose car plunged into the Cumberland River.
"Officers are tough but we all have emotions. I try to be open to what you want to call that universal power," Brown said. "I felt like I needed to be here to make that sign for him and help send a message to those officers driving by."
A few officers were able to stop by to thank Brown, he said. Some had tears in their eyes.
"They were down there and they were hurting pretty bad," Brown said. "I hope that helped them a little."
Brown said he knows how painful loss can be in his part of Nashville. His father drowned in a river. He hopes that in the gesture his community can help memorialize Mumaw.
"I felt like Jesus told me to make that sign because people were hurting," Brown said. "(Mumaw) is a hero and he sacrificed his life for someone else."