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NYPD retires shield of Steven McDonald, gives Medal of Honor to Miosotis Familia

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Familia “embodied the American dream."

Twins Peter and Delilah Vega, two of slain

Twins Peter and Delilah Vega, two of slain NYPD Det. Miosotis Familia's children, attend a medal ceremony at police headquarters on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

The NYPD bestowed its highest honor on slain Det. Miosotis Familia and retired the shield of Det. Steven McDonald, in a ceremony in front of police headquarters on Wednesday.

Familia’s daughter accepted the Medal of Honor and her family received a standing ovation as they stood with Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.

Familia, 48, a 12-year veteran and mother of three, was fatally shot through the window of a mobile command vehicle on July 5, 2017, in Fordham Heights.

De Blasio said Familia “embodied the American dream” and said she was “taken from us brutally.”

“I want to thank her beautiful children and all of her family members who are here: what extraordinary people you are and you have been a beacon to this city,” he said.

Also honored on Wednesday was McDonald, 59, who died last January of a heart attack as a result of the injuries he suffered in a July 1986 Central Park shooting, which left him a quadriplegic.

On Wednesday, McDonald’s wife and son emotionally accepted the gift of the retired shield.

“That shield meant a lot to my dad,” said Conor McDonald, a cop himself, tearing up as he spoke. “My dad was a good man, that was very important to him, that shield. ... I just miss him; it’s a beautiful moment.”

Patricia Ann McDonald rubbed the number as she reflected on the day, adding that McDonald “used to wear this so proudly.” She said she will have the shield framed.

The shield number, 15231, had in fact been used by another officer, Brendan McNamara, 28, of Suffolk County. But when approached about it, McNamara said he gladly gave it up.

“As soon as I found out whose shield it actually was and that the family was trying to get it retired, I said of course, I was honored,” he said. “To have known who carried that shield and then to be able to give it back to the family was a true honor.”

And in a moment of kismet, Patti Ann McDonald said she ran into McNamara’s parents on the boardwalk in Long Beach last spring, and they recognized her.

“It was a place that was very special to Steven and myself,” she said about the boardwalk, adding that McDonald “wore this badge very proudly and he loved the police department.”

Also among the 70 honorees were 24 cops who died as a result of illnesses following the rescue and recovery efforts after Sept. 11.


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