Clayton County Police Ofc. Armando Chaz Mendoza, who was killed in a traffic accident on Tara Boulevard at North Main Street, will have his name added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC at 8 p.m. Friday, May 13:
The event caps National Police Week.
On Monday, April 19, 2021 at 9:40 a.m., Officer Armando C. Mendoza en-route to an authorized part-time job when he was involved in a two-car accident with injuries located on Tara Blvd at North Main Street. Officer Armando C. Mendoza was seriously injured as a result of the accident. Officer Armando C. Mendoza later succumbed to his injures at the hospital on Monday, April 19, 2021. Officer Armando C. Mendoza joined the Clayton County Police Department Family on May 30, 2020 and honorably served the citizens of Clayton County with distinction.
– Clayton County Police Department
Mendoza, 22, died on April 19, 2021 when his patrol car was struck by another car and crashed into a fence. The other driver, Hue Phan, 81, also died of his injuries. Mendoza’s funeral was carried live on local television.
Mendoza’s parents, Robert and Bianca; his grandmother; his girlfriend, Gabrielle Knowles; and fellow law enforcement officers were devastated, remembering him as a playful, cheerful spirit who was kind to everyone he met. He was a sneaker collector who knew how to make a fashion statement and had dreamed of becoming a Navy SEAL.
Mendoza came from a family dedicated to public service. His grandfather, Maxim, founded Rebirth House, a substance abuse facility in Trinidad and Tobago, his mother’s home country, and received the President’s Public Service Medal of Merit (Silver).
His mother, Bianca, blames Clayton County for assigning Mendoza to a patrol car that she says was too old to be in service. Her son played baseball for Sandy Creek High School, attended Georgia Military College, and helped out in the family restaurant and catering business, Plaza Gourmet. The Mendozas brought food to Clayton County Police Headquarters, where “Mando” took an interest in becoming an officer.
Since her son’s death, Bianca Mendoza has been a vocal advocate for increased safety on Clayton County’s treacherous highways, especially Tara Boulevard. Plaza Gourmet has since shut down, but Bianca Mendoza hopes to open a new restaurant in her son’s memory, Mando’s Bistro.