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Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek remembered as a caring brother and model officer

Pallbearers carry Shane Bartek's casket
Grace Church
Pallbearers carry Shane Bartek's casket after a funeral service Jan. 11. The off-duty Cleveland Police officer was killed while trying to stop a carjacking Dec. 31, 2021.

Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartekwas described as a kind, courageous, friendly person during his funeral Tuesday at Grace Church in Middleburg Heights.

Bartek’s family was joined by members of the Cleveland Division of Police, Mayor Justin Bibb, Interim Public Safety Director Karrie Howard, and Interim Police Chief Wayne Drummond, who also spoke.

The 25-year-old Bartek was killed on Dec. 31, 2021, while off duty, after attempting to stop a carjacking on Cleveland’s West Side. He joined the police department in 2019.

His twin sister, Summer, described him as a kind brother and someone who could make friends with anyone.

“After Shane had passed, I had many thoughts on why him,” she said. “He had purpose, and he was loved by so many. He would have done so much with his life.”

Bartek’s sister was the only family member who spoke at the funeral.

“Mostly Shane wanted to be remembered as someone who cared. And in his 25 years he reached that goal times a thousand,” she said.

Drummond read a quote from poet Maya Angelou about the importance of courage.

“While I did not have the privilege to know Shane personally, I have recently talked with many officers who spoke of him very highly,” Drummond said. “I’ve learned that courage came naturally to Shane. And I’ve heard stories that tell me Shane truly embodied the virtues needed to be an outstanding law enforcement officer.”

Grace Church’s senior pastor, Jonathan Schaeffer relayed a story he heard from one unnamed mourner who had called police for help with a grandson who “was not in a good place.”

“She said, ‘Whatever [Bartek] said when he pulled him aside,’ she said, ‘did something that changed the trajectory of this last month,’” said Schaeffer. “She goes, ‘I wanted to come and just thank his family.’”

Drummond said Bartek’s death has had an effect on the entire police department.

“This does not seem very fair today,” Drummond said. “A loss like this takes a toll on our officers. The sadness is palpable throughout the division.”

Bartek is survived by his mother, twin sister and an older brother. A police motorcade accompanied his casket to Holy Cross Cemetery in Brook Park.
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Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.