Chief-Leader

Jul 10, 2017

 

NYPD, City Mourn Cop ‘Assassinated’ By Psychotic Man Who Hated Police

Commissioner: Targeted for What She Represented

A TIME FOR GRIEVING: Police officers of the 46th Precinct are joined by top NYPD officials and Mayor de Blasio in a moment of silence inside their Bronx stationhouse in tribute to Miosotis Familia (inset), the veteran cop who was murdered while sitting inside a mobile unit in a crime-prone location by a schizophrenic man with a history of violent behavior who hated the police. Commissioner James P. O’Neill said she was ‘assassinated for her uniform and the responsibility she embraced’ as a cop.

A 48-year-old Police Officer was shot to death shortly after midnight July 5 by a career criminal who had a history of attacking and expressing hatred toward law-enforcement officers.

‘An Unprovoked Attack’

Officer Miosotis Familia, a 12-year veteran, was pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital in The Bronx three hours after the shooting. She was the third female officer in the NYPD’s history to be murdered in the line of duty.

Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill tweeted at 3:44 a.m. that Officer Familia had “been assassinated in an unprovoked attack on cops assigned to keep NYers safe. Keep her family in your prayers.”

That night, he sent a message to officers saying, “Officer Familia was murdered for her uniform and for the responsibility she embraced.”

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat­rick J. Lynch said in a statement, “Police Officer Miosotis Familia, the mother of three, gave her life protecting a neighborhood that had been plagued by gang gun vio­lence. Fully knowing the dangers that she faced, she suited up in uniform every day and stood tall against those who threaten and terrorize the good folks of The Bronx.

“As we mourn her death and support her family, friends and colleagues, we ask for your help. Violence against police officers cannot stand. When you see or hear someone making threats against NYC police officers you need to let us know, you need to be our eyes and ears.”

‘Keep Her in Our Hearts’

He continued “Police Officer Familia now joins the exclusive ranks of women who have heroically served and died in the line of duty. We will keep her in our hearts and minds as we do all of the women and men who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the city they loved.”

Officer Familia was in the passenger seat filling in her memo book at the start of her shift in the Fordham section when Alexander Bonds, 34, approached the mobile command post and fired through the window with a stolen .38-cal. revolver, striking her in the head. Police sources said she had no warning. Her partner, who was also in the van, frantically radioed for assistance.

Mr. Bonds was shot to death about a block away by an officer and a Sergeant. A bystander was wounded in the stomach during the exchange of fire between the gunman and the police.

Officer Familia leaves three children: a 20-year-old daughter and 12-year-old twins, one a boy and one a girl. The oldest child is in college; the younger two lived with Officer Familia and her mother in an apartment only a couple of miles from the shooting scene.

Changed Tours for Kids

Relatives said she had switched to the midnight tour a few weeks ago so she would have more time to spend with the twins during their summer vacation.

Officer Familia came to policing relatively late, joining the NYPD at the age of 36 after working for the Red Cross and New York University Hospital as a nurse and medical assistant. She spent her entire career in The Bronx, and at the time of her death was assigned to the 46th Precinct.

She was the youngest of nine children in a family of Dominican heritage, and grew up in Washington Heights.

“She would set anybody straight,” her nephew John Cuello told the New York Times. “I’ve seen a lot of her putting her siblings in their place. Holding her ground. Her attitude was, ‘I might be the youngest one, but I’m the toughest one.’”

A childhood friend, Milton Castro, said that they and others growing up in Washington Heights had to deal with high crime rates and the crack epidemic. “She was around all of that stuff like we all were as kids, and she came out of that wanting to help people and wanting to become a police officer,” he said. “It’s a testament to who she was as a person.”

‘The Sweetest Person’

“She was the sweetest person you ever want to meet,” said her downstairs neighbor, Tom Ritter.

“She gave me good advice, like a mother to a daughter,” said Keisha Williams, whose husband was arrested by Officer Familia on a marijuana charge last year. “She’s good, but she’s a tough cookie. She’s a good cop.”

Officer Familia’s life was a sharp contrast to that of her killer. The New York Post, citing police sources, said his girlfriend had told investigators that he was a paranoid schizophrenic who went off his medication before the shooting. She called police several times on the night of the shooting, she said, but Mr. Bonds ducked out of sight whenever he saw a police car.

His aunt told the Times that he had been released from a hospital a week before the shooting. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, she said.

History of Violence

Mr. Bonds served seven months on a drug charge in the early 2000s. He was released from prison in 2013 after serving eight years for an armed robbery in Syracuse. His criminal history also included an arrest on suspicion of being part of a group that attacked a police officer in Queens in 2001. Prosecutors said he had used brass knuckles.

In a Facebook video he posted last September, he referred to police officers as homosexuals and child molesters. He said he would stand up for himself in any confrontation with officers. We “ain’t taking it no more, Mr. Officer,” he wrote. “I’m here to tell you, man…just keep your ass away from mine.”

He also accused state correction officers of beating, raping and murdering inmates. He received several disciplinary write-ups while serving his term for robbery. He was still on parole at the time of the shooting.

His attack on Officer Familia was condemned by public officials including Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

‘Latest in Troubling Series’

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions joined in the criticism. “This murder in cold blood is a tragedy, and sadly it is the latest in a troubling series of attacks on police officers over the past two years,” he said. “These attacks must stop and we must honor the service of every law enforcement officer and the memory of those we have lost in the line of duty.”

Mr. Sessions has signaled that he will reverse the Obama-era Justice Department policies of prosecuting police departments for civil-rights violations and has called for greater respect for police officers.