The tragic result of the slip of a finger—that is how the attorney for cop killer Lamont Pride described his client’s actions on the night he shot Police Office Pete Figoski in the face, killing the 22-year NYPD veteran.
A little over two years after the slain officer was laid to rest, a jury failed to convict the monster that killed him of the most serious of the charges levied against him, aggravated murder.
Now instead of a mandatory life sentence, Lamont Pride faces 45 years to life when he appears before the judge to be sentenced on February 28.
Between now and then those who knew and loved Pete Figoski—his family, friends, brothers and sisters in the NYPD and everyone in this city for whom he risked his life every day, can hope that the judge sees what the jury failed to recognize: a person who willingly takes the life of a police officer in the line of duty should not be considered within the realm of reasonable doubt, but should instead meet with the harshest and most severe penalty allowable by law.
The Forum covered the story of Pete Figoski’s murder back in 2011. We covered his funeral. For months after, we covered several honorary events for him as well as a special benefit held to establish a scholarship fund for his four daughters.
We along with everyone else involved in this case waited anxiously for Lamont Pride to be brought to justice for his heinous crime. We along with everyone else waited with the certainty that NO jury could ever return anything less than a guilty verdict of the top charge and every lesser one filed beneath it.
And when the Brooklyn jury returned with a not guilty verdict on the top charge we were as stunned, disappointed, shocked, horrified and unwilling to believe it as was everyone else.
But no matter how hard we try, we could never express the outrage surrounding the jury’s failure to do the right thing as did one of Pete Figoski’s fellow officers, Sergeant Jean Woods. We would now like to take this opportunity to share Sgt. Woods’ words with you:
We give up Christmas mornings with our kids for you. We stand out in the freezing rain directing traffic so you can get home. We deliver your babies for you. We stand sentry on cold lonely nights so you remain safe. We chase perps across rooftops and down long city blocks for you. We find you lost children, pull you out of wrecked cars, and investigate those open doors for you.
We find the people that hurt you. We get hurt ourselves, defending you. We stand and tell your families when you won’t be coming home. We mourn your dead with you. We jump into cold, frigid waters to save you, guard your shattered homes after storms our own are destroyed too, and ring in every New Year with you.
We spend sleepless nights investigating crimes for you. We shed tears at the atrocities of man against you. We protect your children at school. We deal with your crazy neighbors for you.
We watch, ever vigilant, to protect this city from another attack against us, against you.
We are often scorned, constantly criticized and frequently hated. We suffer bad parodies, donut jokes, second guessing and ignorance. But we soldier on, and enforce the law because we believe in doing what’s right. For the city, for you.
We would take a bullet for you. We DO take bullets for you.
We sometimes die for you.
And when we do, we stand in a long blue line, and mourn for our brother, for ourselves, for a violation of the deepest sort. Killing the protectors kills part of America as that old poem goes. Killing me is one thing. Killing me as I try to keep you safe is another thing entirely, and is the very reason that the charge of Murder 1 exists.
We are the first line of defense, but we need support. So when we catch the one that broke all rules of humanity, and we turn him over to the legal system that we worked so hard to maintain, we trust that the prosecutors will follow through. We trust that 12 other people will follow through. We trust that the public will understand why murdering a Police Officer is an atrocity against humankind, and serve justice according tot he letter of the law.. We would do it for you.
PO Peter Figoski would have done it for you. DID it for you, but that jury in Brooklyn didn’t serve him the way he served them for 22 years. Peter Figoski was murdered by Lamont Pride, and let down by those 12 jurors, leaving the rest of us to carry his memory,