LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – Wildlife Officer Michael K. Neal was recognized for receiving the Medal of Valor with a resolution from the Arkansas House of Representatives at the State Capitol March 18.
Neal was awarded the national Medal of Valor in a February ceremony in Washington, D.C. The medal was presented to Neal by Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder. He was recognized for his role in stopping the 2010 shootings of several law officers in West Memphis.
The resolution was sponsored by Rep. John Catlett of Rover, Rep. Butch Wilkins of Bono, Rep. Deborah Ferguson of West Memphis and Sen. Keith Ingram of West Memphis.
In part, "HR 1025 – Commending Officer Michael Neal on His Selection as a Medal of Valor Recipient," reads:
"Whereas, Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission wildlife officer Michael Neal was presented the Medal of Valor by Vice President Joe Biden at a White House ceremony on February 20, 2013, for his heroic acts on May 20, 2010, in West Memphis, Arkansas; and
"Whereas, on May 20, 2010, 2 West Memphis police officers were killed during a traffic stop on Interstate 40 after stopping a van driven by 45-year-old Jerry Kane, who had his 16-year-old son Joseph with him; and
"Whereas, Officer Neal strapped on his heavy armor, loaded his 26 Bushmaster M4 .223-caliber rifle, and headed to the scene; and
"Whereas, the gunmen had made their way to a Wal-Mart parking lot and were approached by 2 more officers; and
"Whereas, Officer Neal pulled into the parking lot where the Kanes were trying to get away from authorities in their van, and with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on his rifle, rammed his truck into the van and stopped it; and
"Whereas, 12 officers fired at the vehicle, killing both Jerry Kane and Joseph Kane; and "Whereas, Officer Neal has received more than two dozen awards since the incident; and
"Whereas, Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission Chief of Enforcement Mr. Jeff Crow said, ‘We are very proud of Michael and appreciate the administration's acknowledgement of his bravery and the valor he displayed in this incident. His extraordinary service is a testament to the dedication of all those who serve in law enforcement in the State of Arkansas;' and
"Whereas, United States Senator Mark Pryor noted that Officer Neal showed ‘extraordinary bravery when he put his life on the line. . . . He is a true hero, and I can think of no one more deserving of this great honor.'
"Now therefore, be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the eighty-ninth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the House of Representatives commends Officer Michael Neal on his extraordinary service to the State of Arkansas and his selection as a recipient of the Medal of Valor."