NEW YORK (AP) — A police officer killed on the job was remembered at her wake for her smiles and kindness as mourners including the current and former heads of the police department joined members of the rank and file and neighborhood residents at a church to honor her.
The line outside World Changers Church in the Bronx on Monday afternoon extended several blocks as people waited to pay their respects to Officer Miosotis Familia, who was shot and killed while sitting inside her police vehicle last week.
Among those who visited were New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill and his predecessor, former Commissioner William Bratton. They were joined by those who served with Familia, a 12-year veteran of the department who worked out of a Bronx precinct.
Familia, 48, was "a true asset to this department, to this city, a beautiful person inside and out, a loving mother, loving to her co-workers, always had a smile and a few kind words for everybody," said her commanding officer, Inspector Philip Rivera.
Julio Rodriguez came from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to pay his respects, joined by Jose Luis Monche, who came from Miami. The two said they grew up with Familia and her siblings in the Washington Heights section of upper Manhattan. They remembered her energy and joy.
"She had that timeless, infectious smile," Monche said.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo attended the evening visitation. He called it a "tremendously sad day" as he referenced the death Sunday night of a New York State Police trooper shot by a soldier who had just killed his wife at their home near his Army base.
"It's important to remember the sacrifice that the men and women of law enforcement make for the people of this state," said Cuomo.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also attended the wake Monday night, but left without speaking to reporters. The Democratic mayor has been criticized for skipping a vigil for the officer to spend a weekend with world leaders in Germany.
The slain officer, a mother of three children including 12-year-old twins, was writing in her memo book at the end of her shift early last Wednesday when a man walked up to the police vehicle where she was sitting and fired.
The man, Alexander Bonds, had sought psychiatric care just days earlier. He was shot dead by police soon after the attack.
Another visitation session was scheduled for Monday evening, with officials including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo expected to attend. The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.