Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

The emotional statehouse goodbye to a fallen Georgia officer

Dozens of Georgia politicians and statehouse staffers gathered outside the Gold Dome on Wednesday to bid farewell to Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Tony Henry, a member of Gov. Nathan Deal’s security detail and a beloved figure around the Capitol.

Henry, who lived in Covington, was severely injured in a Dec. 3 motorcycle accident in Florida and died on Tuesday. Gov. Nathan Deal and his top aide Chris Riley visited Henry in a Tampa hospital shortly after the accident; Riley called him a “member of our family.”

“Our hearts are heavy tonight,” the governor tweeted late Tuesday, “but we rejoice knowing he is in a better place.”

Henry’s law enforcement career spanned more than two decades and included 17 years with the Georgia State Patrol. He served on former Gov. Sonny Perdue’s security detail before Deal’s 2010 election.

Both legislative chambers held moments of silence for the father of four on Wednesday morning, with House Speaker David Ralston asking lawmakers to reflect on the many lives Henry touched.

"Tony was not only respected by his peers but he was well loved," said Ralston. "He was one of the finest individuals that I've been privileged to be associated with, and we are very, very saddened with his loss."

Hours later, a crowd roamed outside the statehouse as an honor guard of Georgia State Patrol officers escorted a hearse with his body around the Capitol.

“Sgt. Henry was a Trooper’s trooper and a wonderful individual who upheld not only his profession in high esteem but was also a friend and family man,” said state Sen. Tyler Harper. “He represented our state to the utmost for 17 years as a Georgia patrolman and he will be missed by all.”

Read more about Henry here.


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.