A Funeral For A Bronx Hero

Thousands gathered in the Bronx on Tuesday morning to honor the life of fallen NYPD Detective Miosotis Familia

On the night of July 4th, Detective Miosotis Familia was assassinated while serving New York City. On Tuesday morning, Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill and the NYPD gathered alongside Familia’s family and friends to celebrate her life at World Changers Church in the Bronx. This is a collection of photographs captured during the memorial service as well as selected remarks from the Mayor, Commissioner and her oldest daughter, Genesis Vilella.

Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

“And my mom wasn’t just a cop or just a police officer … or just a detective, although those titles are just as important, and they do play important roles in our society, because my mom, she is a protector, defender, guidance counselor, spiritual adviser, philosopher, philanthropist, theorist and mother…Words can’t even explain how I feel right now, but I am so happy that, I am so elated that, she is looking down upon us, that she is still taking care of us, that she is still awarding us with these opportunities because–my mom, she would go to the ends of the earth for my sister Delilah and my little brother Peter and for me. I love her so much, and lately it has been really weird to talk about her in the past tense because she’s still here, she’s not gone.”

– Genesis Vilella, Daughter

Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

“I want to take us back for a moment — that night of July 4th. And we say the words July 4th, and we think of celebration. It’s a time when we celebrate the wonder of this country — this country where a smart and motivated young woman, like Miosotis Familia, could become everything she dreamed of. She was strong, but kind, resourceful and energetic. She embodied the American Dream — a child of immigrants, the first in her family to go to college — a beautiful New York City story. A striver, she always was working to better herself and her family. And she had a goal — she wanted with all her heart to be a New York City police officer. She knew nothing would stop her, and nothing did. And she put on that uniform with such pride. She died the night — she died the night her nation was born. And she died a patriot, defending all of us. Back in 1776, it was farmers and craftsmen who put on a uniform to fight for freedom. Centuries later, in that same spirit, it was Miosotis Familia, who put on a uniform to fight so others could live in freedom and peace. She loved this city and she loved this country because she understood its magic. She saw what was possible — what it meant for herself and her children. She lived for them, but she died for all of us.”

– Mayor Bill de Blasio

Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

“The pain we feel today will not soon pass. But we know she did not die in vain. Our anger can be transformed into effective change; our sorrow can make us a better society. We may not ever match the sacrifice made by Miosotis but surely we can try to match her sense of service. If we cannot match her courage, we can strive to match her devotion. In the last few days the 4–6 precinct, Police Plaza, all across New York we’ve received many, many messages of hope and support. They tell us that people around the nation and around the world love the police very much, and mourn with us, they tell us they need us, and they are proud of us. I too couldn’t be more proud of our cops. To the men and women of the NYPD who bravely put on that uniform every day and they do, it takes courage. And to all those who have come before us, thank you for your dedication, your leadership, and your powerful example. And I also couldn’t be more proud of and thankful for Miosotis, whom I promote today to Detective First Grade.”

– Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill

Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

You can view the entire memorial service including musical selections, scripture, and full remarks below.