Wife of slain Cleveland officer starts new career helping families of homicide victims

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Wayne Leon (Fox 8 file photo)

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CLEVELAND- The widow of a Cleveland policeman killed in the line of duty will now be working to help other families touched by homicides, the Fox 8 I-Team has learned.

Grace Leon will soon be part of a new program with the Cleveland Division of Police Homicide Unit, reaching out to families in cold cases. Grace lost her husband, Wayne, when he was shot and killed in 2000 during a traffic stop.

Oddly, her new effort to help others comes just as the convicted killer in her husband’s case has won an appeal for a new trial. Quisi Bryan has been sitting on death row for the murder. He is also serving time for rape convictions.

Continuing coverage on Quisi Bryan’s trial here

Grace Leon said, with the new program to help families, “It’s all about support. They can be assured I can relate to what they’re going through.”

She told Fox 8 News letters will start going out to families in about two weeks. The goal is make contact so that those people will have support around holidays or anniversaries of the murders that changed their lives.

Leon said she will soon graduate from Cleveland State University with a degree in social work, and she said her upcoming work with the homicide unit will start out as an internship.

Police spokesman Ali Pillow said the department ultimately plans to make this a permanent paid position. He said detectives deal with new cases coming in every day, so this will be a way to keep victim families updated on what’s happening with their cases while getting them any support they need.

Meantime, Cuyahoga County Prosecutors plan to take new legal action to try to keep Bryan on death row.

Leon said her efforts stem from a need she feels for, “Turning around and helping the people who come behind you.”

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