HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Shaquille O'Neal will help honor an officer killed by participating in a memorial ride in March.
Officer Michael Smith became the sixth officer killed in the line of duty in Georgia in 2018. He was shot at a dentist office in McDonough while responding to a disturbance call on Dec. 6. Smith died 22 days later in the hospital.
Matt Davis, president of Disciples of Antioch Motorcycle Ministry confirmed Shaq's appearance to 11Alive's Hope Ford.
"He's coming!" confirmed Davis. "We're very excited and we know his presence will bring out a lot of bikers."
Davis and his father Mike - the president of another motorcycle club, Road Ride for Jesus Chapter 104 - put together the fundraising ride for the Smith family days after he was shot. When he died, the fundraiser turned into a memorial ride.
Matt works in the same police department as Smith, but didn’t know him personally. Police officers don’t make a lot of money, so Matt knows that with Officer Smith’s death, it puts a financial strain on his wife who has left to take care of their 3-year-old child.
The memorial ride is to make sure they’re taken care of for a little while.
“What I hate, being in my position, I hate when people forget," Matt said. "So, that’s kind of why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
The Officer Smith Memorial Ride takes place Saturday, March 23, 2019. It will start at Stockbridge Community Church and end at Falcons Fury Harley Davidson.
Registration will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. More information about the ride can be found on the Disciples of Antioch Facebook Page. All money collected will be donated to the Smith family. Matt said they also plan to collect donations in other ways leading up to the ride.