Thousands attend funeral for 'hero' NYPD officer who 'loved life'

By Allen Cone  |  Updated July 11, 2017 at 9:38 PM
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July 11 (UPI) -- Thousands of people attended a funeral Tuesday morning for slain New York Police Department officer Miosotis Familia, who was described as "a hero" and "loved life."

Around 25,000 officers from around the nation -- their badges bound in black bands -- appeared outside the World Changers Church on the Grand Concourse.

The 4,000-seat church, converted from the old Loews Theater, was filled. A large photo of Familia appeared on the stage.

Barbara Williams, an NYPD chaplain, called Familia "a hero."

"We came here to celebrate her life," Williams said.

Rabbi Alvin Kass said Familia "loved life in all of its variety and richness."

"What her life lacked in duration, it made up in quality and intensity," he said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio told the congregants that the 12-year veteran "lived life the right way." He added: "We're here to lay a hero to rest."

De Blasio met privately with Familia's family and attended her wake Monday. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo also attended the officer's wake and said he had spoken with her three children, a 20-year-old daughter and 12-year-old boy and girl twins.

"It's senseless, it's brutal, it's violent, had nothing at all to do with what the officer did, what the mother did," Cuomo said Monday. "She was just a symbol and a target."

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill posthumously promoted her from officer to detective during the service.

"There is nothing more human than a 48-year-old mother of three, living in the Bronx, who decided to swear an oath, put on a uniform, and live a life with meaning," O'Neill said.

The church was about one-third of a mile from where she was shot shortly after midnight Wednesday.

At the spot on 183rd Street and Morris Avenue in Fordham Heights, a police mobile command unit idled with lights flashing. Fencing was adorned with American flags, flowers and balloons. An outside door handle with yellow police tape contained a bouquet of flowers.

Officer have called the 46th Precinct in the northwest Bronx "one square mile of danger."

Familia died after a gunman walked up to the passenger side of a police command post and shot her through the window. Alexander Bonds, 34, an ex-convict, was killed by responding officers while he tried to flee.

She was the third female officer killed in NYPD history and the first since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Familia, born in the Bronx of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, joined the force in 2005.

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