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Pa. Officer Dies Following Surgery to Repair On-Duty Injuries

Chester (Pa.) Police Department Patrolman Avery Freeman, 49, was laid to rest with full honors on Monday, according to the Daily Times of Delaware County, Pa.

According to the newspaper, Freeman died April 30 from a pulmonary embolism likely from lower extremity surgery to repair damage done to his knees from a slip and fall while on duty on March 31.

Freeman was taking a woman into custody during a domestic disturbance when he slipped on wet, moss-covered bricks and yelled out in pain, complaining of injuries to his knees. He was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center for treatment. He suffered the embolism while he was recuperating from surgery at Taylor Rehabilitation Center when he died, according to the news report.

During his funeral Monday, a motorcade and rider-less horse made their way through Chester Rural Cemetery, followed by precision salutes and a helicopter flyover, the paper reported. A symbolic last 911 dispatch was made and Badge 225, the one Freeman had worn for 15 years, was retired. A 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps were also incorporated in the service.

Detective James Nolan, who is also president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 19, told the paper that Freeman’s death is “a true loss” to the police department and to the city.

Freeman graduated from Chester High School in 1980 and graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., a Bachelor of Science in management in 1984. After graduation, he worked as an environmental supervisor at hospitals in Virginia, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, New York and Bryn Mawr, according to the newspaper.

He graduated from the Philadelphia Police Academy in 1995 as his life took a different path. While with the police department, Freeman was recognized for his service, receiving an award 2004 for life saving and a medal of valor in 2006.

He is survived by four children, his mother and siblings.