Tag Archives: cops

NYPD Honoring 18 ‘Forgotten’ Cops Who Died Serving The City

NYPD History

Among other heroes, one was killed by a load of timber, another was thrown from his horse and struck by car, and still another died trying to save a drowning girl’s life.

At a Police Headquarters ceremony Wednesday, the NYPD is finally honoring 18 previously ­unheralded officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Most of the officers being saluted died before 1922 and the deaths date as far back as 1869.

The most recent is William Martin, who in April 2011 succumbed to injuries suffered 30 years earlier when he was assaulted in a Lower East Side subway station.

“The family went through 30 years of living hell,” Martin’s son, Richard, 60, told The Post. “I think he deserves the honor. I think he was kind of very overlooked.”

The names of the cops — chosen by an NYPD committee of department chiefs — will be added to a memorial wall at One Police Plaza.

“These were officers who were killed in unusual circumstances: off duty, shot by another officer accidentally or killed by accidents,” a high-ranking police source explained. “They would have been added by today’s standards, but not back then.”

William Martin
Died April 9, 2011
Manhattan

Modal TriggerIt was April 20, 1981, when Martin, a transit cop working the night shift, was attacked by a homeless man in a Lower East Side subway station.

The assailant, who was sleeping when Martin tried to wake him up, grabbed the officer’s nightstick and beat him on the head.

“We got the call in the middle of the night. We had to drive in to Manhattan and just knew he was injured,” Richard Martin, of upstate Port Jervis, told The Post.

“The vagrant later said he thought my dad was dead and that’s why he didn’t take his gun and shoot him.”

What followed were three decades of medical treatment, including brain and stomach surgeries. William died in 2011 as a direct result of his injuries.

“He was in a coma for a couple months. He was brain-injured. It took many years before he could even walk,” said Richard, who will attend Wednesday’s ceremony with his brother and sister.

“He got hurt in 1981 and he spent seven years in Bellevue and 10 years in a nursing home and the rest of his life with 24-hour-a-day nursing,” Richard said.

George Caccavale
Died June 26, 1976
Queens

Modal TriggerTransit Detective Caccavale, 33, was working an off-duty security job at a check-cashing business in Long Island City when three armed robbers stormed in.

He tried to fire at them with his service weapons but was gunned down.

Caccavale left behind a wife and two children, including Carla Caccavale Reynolds, just 20 days old when her dad died.

“I’m emotional just thinking about it,” Carla told The Post of the ceremony, which she will attend with her four children.

“It was something that would mean a lot to my mom, and it’s ­really special to me as well. He deserves this. He died a hero and he deserves to be memorialized.”

She added that her dad was “truly a friend to all.”

Carla said her father’s slaying wasn’t initially recorded as an on-duty death, but that changed when it was determined that he had taken police action during the robbery.

“This is huge,” she said of her dad’s plaque at One Police Plaza.

Gustave August Boettger Jr.
Died July 13, 1922
Brooklyn

Modal TriggerThis traffic cop wouldn’t give up.

In 1910, Boettger Jr. was on mounted patrol when a horse pulling a wagon lost control and tried to gallop away.

Boettger followed the horse and wagon, still carrying a rider, down Fulton Street, at one point taking hold of the beast by the bridle.

Just then, a vehicle drove directly into the runaway horse’s path, and Boettger fell off his own horse and was dragged for half a block. He was then struck by another vehicle and suffered a skull fracture.

But despite his wounds, Boettger didn’t give up.

He got up and mounted his horse again, this time joining forces with another cop who managed to capture the beast.

Boettger immediately fell to the ground and was taken to the Hospital, where he made only a partial recovery. Twelve years later, he died from the fracture.

John Branagan
Died Aug. 10, 1869
Brooklyn

It was a freak ferry-yard accident.

Branagan, 42, was helping a horse-drawn lumber truck back out of the old Hamilton Ferry yard when one of the horses suddenly swerved in another direction, according to the Officer Down ­Memorial Page, which provides information on nearly ­every slain US police ­officer.

A load of lumber fell from the truck and hit Branagan, who was severely injured. The 12-year NYPD veteran died soon after.

John Hoey
Died Oct. 4, 1901
Manhattan

Modal TriggerHoey, 37, was walking in Central Park on East Drive near 87th Street with his horse when a car horn spooked the animal.

The horse bolted, throwing Hoey, who had earlier earned a medal for bravery, in front of the vehicle, which hit the officer.

Hoey died the next day at Presbyterian Hospital.

William H. Galbraith
Died Nov. 8, 1911
The Bronx

Galbraith was on routine patrol when he was thrown from his horse at Walton Avenue and Mt. Hope Place.

He suffered a skull fracture and died nine days later at Fordham Hospital, leaving behind a wife and two children.

Dennis Shea
Died Nov. 4, 1902
Manhattan

A massive election-night fireworks explosion left a dozen people dead and scores more injured — including Shea, who was on patrol in Madison Square Park when he was struck by a large chunk of metal. He suffered a skull fracture and died at age 34.

Lt. Daniel C. O’Connor
Died March 14, 1974
Manhattan

Modal TriggerO’Connor, a 19-year veteran, was in a patrol car sitting on the FDR Drive near the Brooklyn Bridge tending to an emergency when ­another vehicle crashed into his.

The lieutenant hit his head on the door and was thrown from squad car. Despite shoulder and stomach pain, O’Connor returned to work a week later — but doctors soon confirmed he had suffered internal injuries.

Surgery failed and he died two months later.

Detective Charles Cameron
Died July 17, 1904
Corona, Queens

It was a case of friendly fire.

Cameron was in plainclothes patrolling a picnic area at a park when a brawl broke out between unruly revelers and musicians on a break.

The detective was attacked by several people in the crowd, at which point he fired two rounds, hitting one of the assailants.

Cameron, 49, then escaped from a mob by crawling under a stage. When a uniformed officer showed up, he was told a gunman was lurking under the stage, so he crawled under the platform and ordered Cameron to get out.

Cameron didn’t respond, so the officer fired a round into the dark, fatally striking the 16-year veteran of the force.

Martin Maloney
Died Sept. 18, 1921
Rockaway Beach, Queens

Modal TriggerHe was trying to save a young swimmer’s life.

Maloney was off duty and taking a dip in the ocean when a young girl swimming nearby screamed for help.

The 27-year-old officer rushed into action, swimming some 200 yards as he desperately tried to reach the drowning girl.

But the officer, who had been wounded as a soldier in World War I, disappeared during the rescue attempt, and his body later washed ashore. The girl was rescued by other beachgoers.

George M. Yeager
Died July 3, 1905
Manhattan

A misstep cost a patrolman his life.

Yeager, 49, was on routine foot patrol downtown when he went to check a report of a fire in a building on Washington Street.

While searching with a watchman to make sure no one was trapped, heavy smoke forced the would-be rescuers back out.

They broke a window and climbed out onto the building’s wooden awning. But then Yeager stepped on a skylight, tumbling down to the street below.

The patrolman was taken to the Hudson Street Hospital — and died from a skull fracture 10 days later.

Tom Gallagher
Died Feb. 7, 1907
Brooklyn

He died saving others’ lives.

Gallagher, a member of the Brooklyn Traffic Squad, was working at Myrtle and Fulton Avenues when a horse-drawn fire engine came barreling toward the intersection.

At the same time, several commuters were transferring street from one streetcar to another — and didn’t see the fire engine — and the intrepid cop rushed to push them out of its path.

But the horses then swerved in his direction, knocking him down.

His legs were crushed by the wagon’s wheels — and doctors at Brooklyn Hospital were forced to amputate a limb.

Gallager, 46, became seriously ill and died six months later.

Gerard Apuzzi Jr.
Died May 4, 1968
Flushing, Queens

Apuzzi, a member of the 107th Precinct, died from carbon-monoxide poisoning in his patrol car.

The 15-year veteran of the force was 42.

Charles Berberich
Died Nov. 15, 1908
Brooklyn

Berberich was standing watch by a downed electrical wire on East Seventh Street when he helped a woman and her two kids walk around the danger.

But tragically the 11-year NYPD veteran came in contact with the live wire and was electrocuted. He died at age 40.

John W. McCormick
Died July 9, 1910
Tarrytown, Westchester

He was on a suburban assignment.

McCormick, a member of what was then the NYC Comptroller’s Squad, had just helped deliver money to city workers toiling away on a water-supply aqueduct in the Catskill Mountains when he got into a car accident on his way back to the city.

His vehicle flipped over near Tarrytown, and he was thrown from the vehicle. McCormick, an officer for 34 years, died from critical injuries.

George Dapping
Died Sept. 24, 1915
Manhattan

Modal TriggerHe was killed in the midst of a politically charged scuffle.

Dapping, 26, was off duty at a picnic hosted by some local politicos at the old Manhattan Casino on 155th Street when a brawl broke out late at night between rowdy members of rival political groups.

Someone in the crowd fired multiple shots, prompting Dapping and another officer to rush in and try to arrest the gunman.

Dapping took a bullet and was killed, while the other off-duty cop was wounded. The gunman was later convicted of murder and put to death on Oct. 7, 1916.

Bryan L. O’Donnell
Died June 11, 1916
Brooklyn

Modal TriggerO’Donnell ditched his post at a police booth at 74th Street in Bay Ridge when a janitor at the nearby Bay Ridge HS informed him several young men had tried to crash a dance party.

He went over to the school and found the troublemakers, who immediately fled.

In hot pursuit of the suspects, O’Donnell climbed a fence — but lost his footing about 12 feet above the ground and fell.

O’Donnell, who was assigned to the 71st Precinct, died from a skull fracture.

Sgt. Thomas F.X. O’Grady
Died Aug. 24, 1916
Woodhaven, Queens

Modal TriggerO’Grady was responding to a report of a stabbing in Dexter Park when his horse, Bismarck, slipped and took a tumble on some cobblestones.

The sergeant fell from the horse — and his steed landed on top of him, fracturing his skull. Four days later, O’Grady died at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Gym Owner Makes No Apologies For ‘No Cops’ Allowed Sign

No Cops

A shocking and vulgar sign about police officers has been posted in front of a local business in Atlanta. The sign could be seen from the street with the curse word blurred out, but the message is clear: It says no cops allowed.

He says he’s a military veteran and was offended when he saw it outside the East Atlanta Village gym.

“It was really just that the vulgarity in that sign, and that seems to bring it out for people,” said Jim Chambers, owner of the EAV Barbell Club on Flat Shoals Avenue in the city’s East Atlanta Village neighborhood.

EAV Barbell Club’s ‘No Cop’ policy is no longer plastered on the front door.

“I didn’t want the other folks there to take the heat that I’m willing to take,” Chambers said.

Despite the backlash, Chambers says he still stands by the message it conveyed.

“We’ve had an explicitly stated ‘No Cop’ policy since we opened, and we also don’t open membership to active members of the military,” he said.

For Chambers, a lifelong political activist, the sign and policy is a political statement outside a multi-use space which serves as a gym, community gathering spot and meeting place for activists in the metro area.

He says groups who work out there are generally minorities who are uncomfortable with the presence of law enforcement agents.

The Atlanta Police Department would not comment on the policy, but told 11Alive News, “Were we to respond to an emergency there, this sign would not stop us from lawfully doing our job.”

“If they have a warrant, they can go anywhere they want, but we’re not breaking the law,” Chambers said.

The question now is what happens if Chambers or anyone inside the gym needs the police.

Chambers says they never have, and won’t ever need the help of officers. He says he plans to put the ‘No Cop’ sign back up without the foul language.

Lawyers we talked with found the policy strange, but said because law enforcement officers are not a protected class under the law, only the courts can decide if EAV Barbell Club is violating any anti-discrimination laws.

WXIA-TV

The Myth of the Trigger-Happy Cop

Trigger Happy Cops?
Trigger Happy Cops?

To hear the media tell it, America is in the grip of an unprecedented crime wave, an orgy of wanton murder in which heavily armed thugs randomly gun down innocent unarmed people, some of them teens, just for sport.

Except that these homicidal goons are wearing the blues and badges of American police departments.

It’s the narrative that’s given rise to the protest movement Black Lives Matter and to a growing public mistrust of the police in general. From Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., to the recent shooting of a middle-aged woman and a teen in Chicago, the body count seemingly keeps rising, exacerbating racial tensions and keeping the nation on edge. And each incident is breathlessly reported by a media determined to show that America remains deeply, irredeemably racist.

Problem is, it’s simply not true.

Last week, the Washington Post published a study of the police shootings that took place in 2015. Likely they intended the story to be shocking — as on Dec. 24, 965 people were killed by police! Instead, the report quells the notion that trigger-happy cops are out hunting for civilian victims, especially African-Americans. Among its key findings:

  • White cops shooting unarmed black men accounted for less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings.
  • In three-quarters of the incidents, cops were either under attack themselves or defending civilians. In other words, doing their jobs.
  • The majority of those killed were brandishing weapons, suicidal or mentally troubled or bolted when ordered to surrender.
  • Nearly a third of police shootings resulted from car chases that began with a minor traffic stop.

The moral of this story is: Don’t point a gun at the cops and don’t run when they tell you stop, and you’re likely to survive. Since the population of the US is about 318 million people, a thousand deaths at the hands of police works out to 1 in 318,000. You have a better chance of being killed in a violent storm (1 in 68,000) or slipping in the tub (1 in 11,500) than being shot by a cop, no matter what color you are.

But even these figures are deceptive. On those 965 killed, only 90 were unarmed, and the majority of those were white. (And that doesn’t take into account other extenuating circumstances besides a weapon that would have caused a police officer to fire.)

Still, the “killer cop” narrative refuses to die, and the Washington Post decided to throw fuel on the racial fire with context-free statements like these: “Although black men make up only 6 percent of the US population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year.”

This ignores the fact that black violent-crime rates are far higher than those of whites. According to the Department of Justice, blacks committed 52.5 percent of the murders in America from 1980 to 2008, when they represented 12.6 percent of the population.

This certainly does not excuse cases of police misconduct. Bad cops should be investigated and tried. The death of Walter Scott in South Carolina last spring — shot in the back while fleeing a white police officer after a routine traffic stop — resulted in the indictment of the cop, who is now awaiting trial. And the killing of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones in Chicago on Dec. 26, after the troubled LeGrier allegedly became “combative” with officers, cries out for further investigation.

But these incidents don’t prove that the “real problem” is cops. This isn’t an “epidemic.” And it isn’t racist to suggest that some perspective is warranted here.

Yet, encouraged by liberal politicians, the rhetoric of protesters has become more heated, poisoning relations between local police and the folks they serve. Most tragically, it’s resulted in the murders of police officers, such as NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, killed in a Brooklyn ambush just over a year ago.

Against the numbers cited by the Washington Post, what about this one: The worst neighborhoods in Chicago — say, West Garfield Park, where gangs run rampant — have a higher murder rate (116.7 per 100,000) than world murder capitals like Honduras (90.4).

But no, best not to mention. That only distracts from the real problem — the cops trying to stop it.