LAFAYETTE, Ala. (WRBL) – Grieving community members gathered at Lafayette Courthouse Square on Saturday for the memorial ride in honor of fallen Chambers County Deputy Sheriff, J’mar Abel. The ride was organized by the Fuller Memorial Benefit Group, a non-profit fundraising organization.
Abel was killed nearly a month ago while on the line of duty when he was assisting the Roanoke Police Department with a high-speed chase. He lost control of his patrol car when rounding a curve and is the seventh Alabama law enforcement officer to die this year.
Candy Miles is the spokesperson for the group and she said the funds from the memorial ride will be split three ways for his two children and fiancée that he left behind.
“We want him to know, if he’s looking down, that we honor him and his service and we will stand behind those children and his family. His last words were ‘take care of my family’ and that means something to use here in Chambers County,” said Miles.
According to Miles, the money for Abel’s 4-year-old son and unborn daughter will go into a trust and will be added to every year. The organization intends to hold an annual memorial ride for Abel every fall.
The ride was open to the community and all street-legal vehicles; there were both motorcycles and cars in attendance. It took about an hour and all the attendees followed a route that passed Abel’s deathplace where a six-foot cross now stands.
Abel’s fiancée, Jasmine Gaddist, was in attendance with her family and their 4-year-old son Bryson. She expressed her appreciation for the event and was given remembrance frames of Abel from the Fuller Memorial Benefit Group.
“He moved down to Auburn with me so it’s usually me and him everyday; me, him and Bryson everyday and he actually told me about a week or so before he passed that he felt like he was living his dream job out, like his dream job. It is bittersweet like I feel really good that he got to do it but I wish he had a little bit more time,” said Gaddist.
Gaddist described Abel as “a really sweet individual who would help anyone, a kind, selfless, special person”.
She said she hopes their daughter one day looks back at the ride and sees how many people Abel touched before his sudden passing.