Tears streamed down the face of slain NYPD Detective Miosoitis Familia’s oldest daughter Genesis as she spoke about the unconditional love her mother gave to her and two younger siblings.
“I’m still so proud of her and the profession that she chose. She said that being a police officer was her calling,” Genesis said. “Being a detective was her calling and that this was the job for her. My mom wasn’t just a cop or just a police officer or just a detective.”
Genesis went on to list the various titles her mother took on as a law enforcement enforcement including protector, defender, guidance counselor, spiritual advisor, philosopher, philanthropist, theorist and mother.
Funeral services for Familia were held on Tuesday at World Changers Church in the Bronx. Thousands of police officers from across the city, state and nation lined the Grand Concourse to bid farewell to Familia, who was posthumously promoted to detective.
Also attending the massive service were elected officials, firefighters, EMTs and corrections officers. Department Chaplain Rev. Jonathan J. Recabarren eulogized Familia.
Shortly after midnight on July 5, Familia, 48, was fatally gunned down while she was sitting in marked police truck with her partner. The suspect, Alexander Bonds, shot through the window of the vehicle hitting Familia in the head. Officers nearby confronted Bonds and fatally shot him.
In the aftermath of the shooting, a citywide mourning took place in Familia’s honor. A 12-year veteran of the department, she worked at the 46th Precinct in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx.
Among those in attendance at the service was Mayor Bill de Blasio who called Familia a “patriot” and her life a “beautiful New York City story.” The youngest of ten children, Familia was the daughter of Dominican immigrants and the first in her family to go to college.
“Officer Miosotis Familia lived life the right way. We mourn together,” he said. “We’re here to support each other, we’re here to support her family. But most especially, we’re here to honor her and all she stood for, all she believed in, all she did.”
Taking a more politicized approach during his remarks, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neil said Familia’s murder is a result of what he believes is a nationwide attack on police officers. Reports indicate her killer ranted about police on social media and had a long criminal rap sheet.
“He shot a cop. Mental illness and medication may have played a part, I don’t know. What is certain, however, is that he hated the police,” said O’Neil. “He saw us as the bad guys because countless times he heard it in conversation, saw it on television, read it in the newspapers – combine that toxic blend with his special brand of evil, and you get this funeral.”
Familia’s murder marks the second shooting death in recent weeks where mental health played a role in the suspects’ actions.
In another shooting on June 30, Dr. Henry Michael Bello opened fire on the 17th floor at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital killing one and injuring six. Armed with an AR-15 rifle, he committed suicide by setting himself on fire.
Bello previously resigned from the hospital due sexual harassment complaint two years prior. He staged the shooting at the hospital eve of the first anniversary of his medical license expiring.
While the are no reports that Bello suffered from mental illness, investigators are trying to determine what caused him to suddenly snap and go on the deadly rampage.
In Familia’s case, her killer’s girlfriend reportedly said during a 911 call that he was “paranoid and acting erratically” just hours prior to the shooting.
Bond was taken in for a psychiatric evaluation at St. Barnabas Hospital three days before the shooting but was released. Antidepressant and anti-psychotic medications were found at his apartment, according to police.
“We believe all mental health procedures and safeguards were properly followed in the hospital’s evaluation of Mr. Bonds during the 7 to 8-hour period he was observed in our emergency room on July 1,” a hospital spokesman said in a statement.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched an investigation with the State Department of Health to see if all proper procedures were followed when the hospital released Bond.