Remembering Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns
10 June 2021

Each year on June 10, we honor the memory of our fallen Constellis and Centerra brother, Special Police Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns. On this date twelve years ago, Officer Johns died heroically in the line of duty while selflessly protecting Holocaust Memorial Museum employees, coworkers, and visitors from around the world. Officer Johns placed himself in the line of fire between a well-armed racist intent on taking innocent lives and the people he vowed to protect. His sacrifice provided the time others needed to escape injury and possible death. Officer Johns did not go home on the night of June 10, 2009, so that others could. His memory occupies a permanent place in our hearts, as do our thoughts and well wishes for his family.

In other years, visitors to the museum would reflect at the plaque commemorating Officer Johns, paying their respects alongside staff and volunteers. We may not be able to gather en masse again this year to pay tribute to Officer Johns and his sacrifice, but he is remembered just the same.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum created the Stephen Tyrone Johns Summer Youth Leadership Program in 2010 as a living memorial for Officer Johns. The program provides 50 outstanding high school students from the Washington, DC, area with an intensive educational internship at the Museum each summer. It was developed to help young people build skills to become leaders in their communities, focusing on promoting human dignity while confronting hatred and bigotry. More than 850 students from 120 Washington, DC, area schools have participated since the program was established in 2010.

Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns

End of Watch – June 10, 2009