The San Francisco Police Department came together Wednesday night for a fundraidser to help an injured officer.
Police officers from the Tenderloin station shared their comrade's pain but did their best to lift the spirit of Officer Elia Lewin-Tankel by shooting a selfie video. Lewin-Tankel is recovering from a traumatic brain injury suffered when he was hit by a vehicle while riding his patrol bicycle in October.
The video was a light moment during an emotional night dedicated to the 32-year-old. Officer Daniel Casey says Lewin-Tankel is a friend and mentor to many.
"It's a daily reminder when I go in to suit up, my friend is not there," he said. "I walk past his locker every day. It's not easy. He's really into reading and national parks. He's the kind of officer I'd like to be one day, always fair to people, popular in the city."
Dozens of people and organizations donated items for a silent auction to raise money for Lewin-Tankel's recovery. His wife and family members have moved to Santa Clara to be by his side.
Officers who make weekly visits say Wednesday's fundraiser has to be one of many.
A family friend read a statement from Lewin-Tankel's family:
"This is no doubt one of the most difficult moments in our lives, but we are choosing to see this as another obstacle Elia will overcome."
Chief Bill Scott made it clear it's a long-term effort.
"Keep praying, keep supporting Elia and his family," he said. "It's gonna be a long haul; we know that."