San Jose Pays Tribute to Fallen Officer Michael Katherman

San Jose’s top cop also happens to be its most eloquent speaker. So on Tuesday, Chief Eddie Garcia eulogized Officer Michael Katherman, who became the city’s 13th line-of-duty casualty after a June 14 traffic collision. “Mike was an exceptional cop, but an even better man,” Garcia said. State Attorney General Kamala Harris joined hundreds of police officers from across the Bay Area at SAP Center to pay respects to Katherman—a motorcycle officer, 11-year department veteran, husband and father of two school-aged sons, Josh and Jason. Notably absent from the event, at the family’s behest, was most of the City Council and the mayor himself, Sam Liccardo. Councilman Ash Kalra attended the event with colleague Raul Peralez, who served alongside Katherman before getting voted onto the council. Spelled in blue-and-white flowers onstage and emblazoned on black bands worn by fellow officers was his badge number: 3900. A tearful Michael Whittington, who went from being Katherman’s academy-mate to beat partner before moving on to the county District Attorney’s Office, said his fallen friend was “built for power.” Kat Man, as his buddies called him, often surprised people. At just 5-foot-8, he could dunk a basketball. He jogged slow but sprinted fast. Kat Man hauling ass during the 100-yard dummy drag, Whittington quipped, was “like watching a bear carry a kitten.” Katherman, his smile “big as a grand piano,” entertained friends with impersonations of Chris Farley, Kermit the Frog and a retired SJPD sergeant. As a vice, he preferred ice cream over beer. When the chief looked through Katherman’s personnel file, two cases stood out. In one, a grandmother called his heart-to-heart talk with her wayward teen granddaughter “a life-changing event for the family.” In another, Christmas Eve 2011, he saved the life of a stabbing victim. “There is no such thing as routine patrol,” Garcia said before exhorting the auditorium to celebrate Katherman’s life as well as mourn the loss. “You raised an honorable, righteous and caring young man,” Garcia told the fallen officer’s parents, Tom and Diane Katherman. “Your mission is accomplished.”

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2 Comments

  1. http://www.sanjoseinside.com/2016/06/15/san-jose-police-officer-dies-in-motorcycle-crash/

    Please click on the link and then scroll down to watch the tribute video he created. This was also posted last week but if you have not watched it yet, please do so today.

    Spend 7 minutes and 22 seconds watching this tribute that Officer Michael Katherman put together to honor fallen officers. I wept at the thought that now he is one of them. I’m so grateful he took the time to put this together. He would be honored if we watch it and remember how many officers serve and give everything to protect us.

    We should never ever forget how fortunate we are that there are men and women willing to serve and protect us each day.

  2. Come on SJI / Fly you guys all know damn well the mayor and all council members who voted for Measure B were not welcome at the service and were told so by the POA at the request of the family. This was at the request of Officer Katherman.

    No need to say anymore, have some respect for Michael and his family. It is over and time to let everyone heal and try to move on. You guys play more word games than the mayor. This post should be taken down