Crowd pours into pub to raise funds for slain San Jose officer's family

Byby Tiffany Wilson and Lisa Amin Gulezian KGO logo
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Crowds pour into pub to raise funds for SJ cops family
A neighborhood pub that's served as a police department watering hole for years hopes to raise $50,000 for the family of fallen San Jose Officer Michael Johnson.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose restaurant and pub is celebrating the life of San Jose Officer Michael Johnson by giving back. Britannia Arms is donating 100 percent of sales from Thursday to the fallen officer's family.

People have been pouring into the pub at both locations since 11 a.m. People were drinking, talking, and being a community.

Inside the neighborhood establishment, every TV showed the memorial.

Outside, families shared their grief over losing the slain officer.

"You don't know what's going to happen," said CHP Officer Nicholas Ranger. "You put on your uniform, you go to work, and it could all end today."

Ranger took part in the procession.

"I was told to come down and we were just gonna raise a pint to Michael," he said. "I showed up and there's a party going on. And that's awesome."

PHOTOS: Procession and memorial service for Officer Michael Johnson

The pub has served as a police department watering hole for years. And now, the business is giving back.

"Every penny we take today is going to the family," said co-owner Michael North.

Co-owner Owen Nolan added, "We know this family is going through a difficult time and we want to help them as much as possible."

San Jose firefighters lined up for $20 plates of barbecue. Then many stayed to help serve beer.

"Anything we can do to help them, help the family get through this horrible tragedy, that's why we're here," said San Jose Fire Department Captain Pete Roman.

Other customers bought raffle tickets or signed up for the silent auction.

Every bite, ticket, and signature was a show of support.

"We need to do this more often," said Vanessa Bravo.

Her husband is a San Jose police officer. On Thursday, she grieved for the officer's widow.

"Getting ready to go to his service this morning, I thought in my mind, I could have been her getting ready to actually be there and watch my husband in his coffin," she said.

The mood at Britannia Arms was light after a heavy and somber morning. At Thursday's memorial, friends and family had a chance to say goodbye.

RAW VIDEO: Dignitaries, family speak at memorial for fallen officer

North hopes to raise $50,000 for the Johnson family. An ambitious goal, but he think it's doable with the community's support. Managers said late Thursday that they've already raised tens of thousands of dollars.

"If you have a dollar and you want to come by and drop it off, we're happy to take the donation," he said.

Both Britannia Arms locations will be open until 2 a.m.

On Sunday, the San Jose Earthquakes will have a donation bin at the Easter egg hunt after their match.

A friend is organizing another fundraiser for the Johnson family, at Crossfit Moxie.

"It's organized chaos. Everyone is suffering together, working out hard together, kind of the idea that everyone is doing this together. We do it because he can't," said trainer Suzy Barr.

That fundraiser will take place April 18.

The San Jose Police Officers Association is accepting donations as well.

For full coverage on Thursday's memorial for fallen Officer Michael Johnson, click here.

PHOTOS: San Jose police escort body of fallen officer

If you would like to extend your condolences to the officer's family and the San Jose Police Department, click here. We've posted a badge on Facebook for you to share, to honor his memory and his service.

Donation Information

The SJPOA Charitable Foundation is accepting donations for the family of Michael Johnson. Please visit their website at: to make a donation online.

The Britannia Arms is holding a fundraiser on April 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. All proceeds during this time will be going to the family. The fundraiser will be held at both locations:

Britannia Arms - Downtown

173 W Santa Clara Street

San Jose, CA 95113

Britannia Arms - Almaden

5027 Almaden Expressway

San Jose, CA 95118

The San Jose Earthquakes will be holding an Easter Egg Hunt following the team's match on April 5 (available to kids 10 and under with a ticket to the match). A donation bin will be set up at the Guest Services Center behind section 101. Following the match, fans can donate upon checking in for the Easter egg hunt. In addition, donations can be made at

All the donations will be coming to the SJPOA Charitable Foundation and then given to family.

Next month, the Shop with a Cop Foundation of Silicon Valley is holding its third annual Salsa Sunday brunch fundraiser at the Loft bar Bistro at 90 South 2nd street in San Jose on May 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Part of the proceeds will go to Officer Johnson's favorite charity and activities in his memory. Part of the proceeds will go to the Heroes and Helpers Holiday shopping spree for under-served children. Officials say the program has an educational component and is a great way for anyone to honor Officer Johnson because he was so deeply involved in the community.