December 8, 2005

Thousands Mourn Slain Jamaican-Born Cop

  Dillon Stewart
  Slain New York City detective, Dillon Stewart (NYPD picture).

Hardbeatnews, BROOKLYN, N.Y., Thurs. Dec. 8, 2005: Thousands of police officers, area residents and community and political leaders, including Jamaica's Counsel General to New York, Dr. Basil Bryan, joined the family of slain New York City detective, Dillon Stewart, on Tuesday to say a final, heart wrenching goodbye.

Stewart, a Sav-la-mar, Jamaica-born New York City cop was shot at five times during a traffic stop on a Nov. 28 by a Jamaican-born assailant carrying a 9 mm handgun.

Stewart, 35 was shot and killed as he and his partner attempted to pull over a car, which they observed had gone through a red light at the corner of Flatbush and Church Avenues in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. The driver of the vehicle, which displayed stolen New Jersey license plates on it, refused to stop, according to police reports, even though at one point, the police car pulled alongside the passenger side.

At that point, the suspect, now known as Allan Cameron, reportedly leaned over and began shooting. He allegedly fired at least five times at the officers, shooting outside the passenger side window of his own car. One of the rounds struck Detective Stewart under his left arm and passed between the front and back panel of his bullet resistant vest and struck his heart.

But despite the wound, Stewart continued the chase. Cameron reportedly sped to a basement garage on East 21st Street, about two blocks away. Two backup officers shot at the stolen vehicle as a mechanized metal gate at the garage entrance rolled down, but were unable to  get into the garage before the gate closed. By the time they were able to gain entry into the garage, he had escaped through a window.

 Stewart was taken to Kings County Hospital where he died six hours later from his wounds.

Cameron was later apprehended inside an apartment about a block from the garage. The 9mm Glock handgun used to kill Detective Stewart was recovered outside the apartment building. He was later identified as the perpetrator who also allegedly shot and wounded an off-duty New York City Police Officer during a botched robbery attempted on November 19, He is charged with first-degree murder for killing Detective Stewart and attempted murder for the shooting of the off-duty officer and was indicted last Thursday. He has pled non-guilty.

On Tuesday, NYC Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelley, as ". an enduring example of greatness to the New York City Police Department" and "A hero of New York City." While Mayor Mike Bloomberg assured those gathered and city resident that " we will rest until his killer is prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law."

New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president, Patrick J. Lynch called the murder " a tragic loss," adding that "Stewart was a credit to his family, a credit to his shield and a credit to the city he served."

Stewart and his sister migrated to the U.S. in 1980 and settled in Brooklyn, N.Y with their mother. He graduated from PS 244, the Lafayette High School and the Borough of Manhattan Community College in 1989. He quit his job as an accounts payable clerk at WNYC radio to become a cop in 2000.

Stewart, who lived with his Trinidad-born wife Les-Lynn and two kids in Elmont, Long Island, graduated from the police academy in October 2000 and was later assigned to the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn.

He was laid to rest following a moving service at the 1,500-seat New Life Tabernacle Church in Brooklyn, the borough where he grew-up, worked and lost his life. He was the first NYPD officer killed this year in the line of duty.