WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — An emotional service was held Monday for a correctional officer at the ACI who died last week due to COVID-19 complications.
Hundreds of people gathered at St. Kevin Church in Warwick to pay their respects to Lt. Russell Freeman. He died last Monday at the age of 52, about a month after he contracted the disease.
Freeman’s family described him as a beaming light who had an infectious smile and was the “neighborhood dad.”
Following the service, a motorcade of state and local police vehicles and motorcycles traveled past the ACI on the way to the cemetery.
Governor Gina Raimondo also attended the funeral and procession. On Friday, in an interview with Target 12, Raimondo said she spoke with Freeman’s family and thanked them for his service.
“You just try to be there for people, offer help, thank them, in that case, thank him for his decades of service,” she said. “I talked to his son. It’s so heartbreaking.”
Freeman joined the Rhode Island Department of Corrections in 1991 and was well-known in the community. He was among the 120 ACI employees to get COVID-19, according to the R.I. Brotherhood of Correctional Officers.