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Miosotis Familia, slain NYPD officer, honored on anniversary of death

A Bronx street is renamed for the 12-year veteran and mother of three, who was fatally shot in Fordham Heights on July 5, 2017.

Slain detective Miosotis Familia was honored with a

Slain detective Miosotis Familia was honored with a Bronx street in her name on Thursday. With the sign are her three children -- twins Delilah (left) and Peter Vega, 13, and Genesis Viella -- as well as her mother Adriana Valoy. Photo Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

One year after the fatal shooting of NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia, the department honored her life and mourned her death by renaming the street on Thursday in front of the Bronx precinct where she worked.

In a poignant and emotional ceremony on Thursday, her daughter Genesis Villella, wearing a small replica of her mother’s shield around her neck, said Familia was the “embodiment of strength” and “couldn’t bear the thought of something happening” to people who she didn’t necessarily know, yet still inherently cared about.

Villella then watched, along with her two siblings, as the blue street sign with her mother’s name was unveiled on Ryer Avenue in front of the 46th Precinct as an NYPD helicopter flew overhead.

“One day my mom shared with me that she truly believed that being a police officer was her calling. She would tell me that she really believed that she was making a difference,” Villella said, adding: “And my mom loved us, and she loved our family, but she also loved New Yorkers, she loved her city.”

Familia, 48, a 12-year veteran and mother of three, was fatally shot through the window of an NYPD mobile command vehicle on July 5, 2017, in Fordham Heights. The man who killed her, Alexander Bonds, was killed by responding officers after he brandished a revolver.

In addition to the street renaming, a candlelight vigil was held for Familia on Wednesday evening, and a memorial Mass was celebrated Thursday morning.

Villella said she often worried for her, especially after the killing of fellow Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were ambushed as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn in December 2014.

“Unfortunately, evil does lurk sometimes in our streets. And every day, ever since I was a little kid, ever since my mom became a police officer, I worried about her,” she said. “How could some people deliberately target . . . human beings, other people who make it their mission to help others?”

Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Familia’s work was “not in vain” and that her legacy will live on. And while he said he knows that renaming a street won’t ease the pain of losing someone like Familia, it is an opportunity to celebrate her life and remember “what she died defending.

“Miosotis, like most cops, just wanted to go to do her job, work hard, live without fear, and improve her lot in life while also bettering the lives of her 86-year-old mother, her two girls, and her son,” he said. “She epitomized why many people choose to become police officers.

“All her killer could see was a uniform, even though Miosotis was so much more,” he added. “She was assassinated solely because of what she represented and for the responsibilities she embraced.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Familia was “one of the finest examples you will ever see of the American dream,” adding that she was the first of her family to go to college and succeeded in her goal to join the NYPD.

“Today there’s is a message of family running through this gathering,” de Blasio said, adding: “She dreamed and she achieved. And always with warmth and heart — the love she gave to all those around her was so powerful.”

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