NORTHFIELD, Minn. (AP) — Hundreds of law enforcement officers from Minnesota and surrounding states joined community members Tuesday to mourn the death of Rice County Deputy Sheriff John Liebenstein.
Bagpipes blared and rows of squad cars filled the streets with flashing lights. So many came to attend the slain deputy’s funeral that some had to listen outside St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.
Rice County Sheriff Dave Schweisthal said a prayer during the funeral.
“Give us the courage to carry on and to still live and care,” he said. “To not be vengeful or bitter; to simply trust your word as true. May we always cover with pride the shield we wear to honor all fallen officers, whom now we commend to you.”
Earlier Tuesday, a prosecutor asked that a 17-year-old Prior Lake boy be tried as an adult in Liebenstein’s death.
Tim Chambers was charged in Rice County District Court with second-degree murder, fleeing a police officer resulting in death.
Authorities said Chambers was driving a stolen car that slammed into Liebenstein’s car at the end of a chase last Friday. Liebenstein, 40, was thrown from his car and died.
Chambers, who was shackled at the ankles, hugged his mother as he was led away at the end of the 25-minute hearing in Faribault.
Rice County Attorney Jeff Thompson said a psychological exam has been ordered for Chambers.
Schweisthal and several deputies attended Chambers’ hearing with black bands covering their badges.
“We’re a small department, and everybody knows everybody,” Schweisthal said afterward. “They party together, they visit together, and it’s just really tough.”