Brooklyn is looking out for its police officers.
That was the message put forth by 44th District Councilmember David Greenfield and other elected officials on Thursday, July 6, as they led a rally in support of the NYPD in front of Boro Park’s 66th Precinct (5822 16th Avenue).
The day’s dreary conditions did not deter attendees from reinforcing their support of New York’s Finest in the wake of 46th Precinct Officer Miosotis Familia’s assassination in the Bronx on July 5.
Familia, who was a mother of three children, was allegedly shot and killed while sitting in a police truck by Alexander Bonds, a former convict who in the past had expressed anti-police sentiments on social media.
“It’s really too easy to metaphorically beat up on the police and forget that when these folks put on the badge and uniform every day, they recognize that they’re putting their lives at risk for the greater good of this city,” said Greenfield. “It’s because of the men and women, like Officer Familia, who put their lives on the line every single day and protect you that you can enjoy your rights.”
Despite the fact that Familia was killed in the West Bronx, news of the assassination quickly sent shock waves throughout the city’s 77 police precincts, including the 66th, which serves Boro Park, and portions of Bensonhurst, Midwood and Kensington.
“It’s not like losing a family member, it is losing a family member. Speaking for everyone in the department, we consider Officer Familia a sister and it hurts us,” said 66th Precinct Captain David Wall. “Every police officer, including myself, has been in the position that she has been in and so it hurts us a lot to know that it could’ve been anyone.”
Also present at the rally were State Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblymembers Dov Hikind and Felix Ortiz, Brooklyn Asian Civilian Observation Patrol leader Louie Liu, Brooklyn South Shomrim President Jacob Daskal, Rabbi Bernard Freilich and Barry Spitzer, district manager of Community Board 12, who co-sponsored the rally.
Spitzer recalled that just two and a half years ago, officials stood at the same spot to show their support for the NYPD following the assassination of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Bed-Stuy. Ramos and Liu were killed in a similar fashion to Familia, by being shot in the head while sitting in their police vehicle.
Spitzer urged the community to denounce the anti-police rhetoric that has become increasingly common in recent years.
“This should never happen. No matter how much time passes, something like this really is horrific to everyone in the city, and to the entire nation,” said Spitzer. “The police and the citizens of this city are one family. When something happens to a member of the family, the entire family hurts.”