NYPD officer assassinated; suspect killed

While the New York police department worked to keep its city safe during the Independence Day celebrations, one man decided to target a female officer sitting in her vehicle. Miosotis Familia later died at the hospital, while suspect Alexander Bonds met his fate first:

An NYPD officer shot while sitting in a police vehicle in the Bronx has died, authorities said early Wednesday.

The slain officer was identified as Miosotis Familia, 48, a 12-year veteran of the police force. She was assigned to the 46th Precinct.

Two cops gunned down the alleged assailant — later identified as Alexander Bonds — after he blasted the mobile command post parked near E. 183rd St. and Creston Ave. around 12:30 a.m., according to police sources and Commissioner James O’Neill.

The New York Daily News reports that police have reviewed surveillance footage of the attack, and it shows Bonds approaching Familia’s vehicle “with purpose.” In other words, they believe that Bonds intended to assassinate the police officer, rather than it being an incident which went out of control. In furtherance of that analysis, the Daily News also reports that Bonds had a prior arrest for assaulting an officer with brass knuckles, and had been out on parole since 2013 after serving seven years on a robbery conviction. A look at Bonds’ public statements on social media may point to a specific motive in this case:

The source said Bonds, who boasts up to six different aliases, recently spoke critically of law enforcement on an unspecified social media site. He said police in Oakland, Calif., were wrong to stop a child riding a bicycle.

The NYPD may have to answer some questions about collateral damage during the firefight that killed Bonds. A bystander got shot in the stomach in the exchange, and so far there is no word as to who fired the shot that hit him. The bystander is expected to recover from his wounds, fortunately.

This incident reminds us that those who serve to protect us have unique vulnerabilities as a consequence. Patrol officers do not have the luxury of anonymity on the streets; they wear uniforms to identify themselves and as a deterrent to disturbances. They have to respond to dangerous situations in which violence can erupt without warning, and as the assassination of Familia shows, they can become targets just by appearing in public. Police officers can and sometimes do abuse their authority — and when they do, they must be held to account. But we also must remember that they face danger just in putting on the uniform, and the overwhelming majority of officers wear it nobly and serve unselfishly in defense of our liberty in our communities.

Police gave their fallen comrade an honor guard at the hospital where she died, and along the way to the medical examiner’s office:

We should say prayers for Familia, her family, and her colleagues, not least of which should be prayers of gratitude for their service.