Honoring Grand Forks Officer Cody Holte one year later

“His legacy will live in our hearts and minds. Rest in peace Cody. We’ve got it from here.”
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 1:06 PM CDT
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The community of Grand Forks is honoring police officer 29-year-old Cody Holte, who died in the line of duty one year ago.

Law enforcement and family members gathered outside the Grand Forks Police Department on Thursday morning to pay their respects.

Holte has been honored with a purple heart, medal of honor, and his name is now on the law enforcement memorial in Washington, D.C. Holte was a 10-year veteran in the North Dakota National Guard and served with the Grand Forks Police Department for just over three years.

On May 27, 2020, officer Holte responded to an apartment in the 2600 block of South 17th Street in Grand Forks to help other officers serve an eviction notice. They were overtaken by heavy gunfire from the suspect and Holte later died at Altru hospital.

“This day was a day of unfathomable tragedy. On that fateful day, we witnessed the best and worst of what mankind has to offer,” Grand Forks Police Chief Mark Nelson said during Holte’e memorial Thursday morning.

Holte leaves behind a wife, an almost-two-year-old son, Gunnar, as well as a twin brother, Brady who serves as an officer for the Fargo Police Department.

“We learn what strength is by watching Cody’s family. They are my heroes and I’m honored to call them my friends,” Nelson said.

Lt. Derik Zimmel says before badge number 639 was worn with pride by officer Holte, it was his.

“There were a few conversations we had discussing the history of the number and the importance of him doing honor to the number,” Zimmel smiled. “I would submit he did more honor to that number than any person ever has.”

Badge 639 has since been retired in honor of Holte’s sacrifice which is something that’s only been done one other time in the department’s history.

Grand Forks Police say now it’s time to move forward by honoring Holte’s legacy while also trying to emulate the man he was— Someone who’s life’s purpose was service before self.

“Moving forward allows us to honor Cody’s legacy by continuing to do the job he loved, all the while remembering the officer and the man that was Cody,” Nelson said.

“When people asked him why he was in the national guard and law enforcement, his reply was always, ‘I serve so others don’t have to.’ And maybe that’s a lesson that we all have to do our part. We all have to work together to make a better world for all of us,” Zimmel said.

42-year-old Salamah Pendleton faces eight charges in the case, including two counts of murder for the deaths of Holte and his mother, Lola Moore. Pendleton is scheduled to go to trial on June 29.

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