Legacy of slain Brooklyn detective lives on at emotional blood drive

Samantha Stewart weeps as she remembers her father Dillon Stewart at a Brooklyn Blood Drive.
Photo by Dean Moses

Although Brooklyn Detective Dillon Stewart died in the line of duty 17 years ago, the NYPD channels his spirit today to help save lives.

Detective Stewart was remembered Monday on the anniversary of his death in front of the 70th Precinct through the gift of blood donations. Each year, Brooklynites line up outside the station house to give blood to honor a man who gave his life for them.

In 2005, Stewart and his partner attempted to pull over a vehicle with stolen New Jersey license plates after it drove through a red light at the corner of Flatbush and Church Avenues in the East Flatbush. The driver refused to stop, however, and as the officers pulled up alongside him, he shot into their cruiser five times.

Sadly, one of the bullets passed under his arm, between his bullet-resistant vest and struck his heart. Stewart was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he died six hours later from his wounds.

A line begins to form at the drive. Photo by Dean Moses

Now in 2022, Stewart continues to be remembered by the community and his loved ones through the annual blood drive. 

The day was an emotional one for Stewart’s two daughters Alexis and Samantha Stewart, the latter of whom had only been born for a few months when her father was ripped from her. With tears welling in the sisters’ eyes, they told amNewYork Metro how important it is to them that lives are being saved in their dad’s name.

“It means a lot. It shows that we’re still able to remember him, still able to connect through the community and give back to the community that he served. And it just means so much to us to continue to live out his legacy,” Samantha said, weeping.

Alexis Stewart (right) and Samantha Stewart. Photo by Dean Moses

Alexis adds that despite her young age, she still harbors fond memories of her late father and shares them with her sister.

“I was six years old when my dad passed. My sister was four months old, so I have a lot of memories of him and I’m always glad to share them with her. One of my fondest memories is him dancing and singing throughout the house. He was Jamaican so we always listened to reggae and different Caribbean music. So I always like to share that with her, he would hold her and dance around with her,” Alexis said.

The pair shared that they are still in pain each day but consider the 70th Precinct an extended family that helps them weather the emotional storm. The sisters joined NYPD officers as they watched a mobile New York Blood Center truck park in front of the precinct and welcome locals who, despite the frigid weather, rolled up their sleeves and gave their blood in honor of a man who split his.

A local donates blood at the drive. Photo by Dean Moses
The New York Blood Center outside the 70th Precinct. Photo by Dean Moses

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