NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill received rousing applause when he delivered an impassioned address on Tuesday during murdered Officer Miosotis Familia’s funeral, questioning why Familia’s death hasn’t attracted widespread demonstrations and outrage.
O’Neill, who praised cops as “regular” people who selflessly sign up to protect the lives of strangers, delivered a stirring message at a time in which tensions and strained relations continue to plague minority populations and police officers in many parts of the country.
“Let me tell you something, regular people sign up to be cops. They sign up for this job of protecting strangers knowing there are inherent risks,” O’Neill proclaimed during his speech. “But not one of us ever agreed to be murdered in an act of indefensible hate. Not one of us signed up to never return to our family or loved ones.”
He continued, “So, where were the demonstrations for this single mom who cared for her elderly mother and her own three children?”
While O’Neill said that anger and sorrow abound following Familia’s death, he wondered aloud why there’s “no outrage.”
“Because Miosotis was wearing a uniform? Because it was her job?” he rhetorically pondered. “I simply do not accept that. Miosotis was targeted, ambushed and assassinated. She wasn’t given a chance to defend herself.”
Watch O’Neill’s words — and the applause he received — below:
NYPD Police Commissioner is applauded at slain cop's funeral: “Where are the demonstrations for this single mom…why is there no outrage?” pic.twitter.com/11fTjy38Du
— ABC News (@ABC) July 11, 2017
O’Neill also promised that Familia’s legacy would live on and that the police “will continue to find our way forward in her honor,” while also encouraging the public to work alongside police in their communities.
“Our anger can be transformed into effective change. Our sorrow can make us a better society,” he said. “We may not ever match the sacrifice made by Miosotis, but surely we can try to match her sense of service … we can strive to match her devotion.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio, however, received a far cooler reception from many police officers, with hundreds of cops reportedly turning their backs to him during his eulogy. It was an act that came after frustrations flared over de Blasio’s decision to head to Germany to protest outside the G20 summit just one day after Familia’s death, rather than remain in New York City.