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article imageFuneral Mass to be held for slain NYPD officer

By Arthur Weinreb     Dec 19, 2011 in Crime
New York - A funeral Mass will be held today for Officer Peter Figoski who was shot to death last week in Brooklyn. The alleged shooter had recently been released on bail after being arrested in November and had an outstanding warrant for a shooting.
Figoski, a 22-year veteran of the NYPD who had received 12 medals for his work, will be laid to rest today after a funeral Mass. The Mass will be held in Babylon, N.Y. where the officer lived.
Figoski, 47, was divorced and the father of four daughters. According to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Figoski's life seemed to revolve around his daughters.
Last Monday, Figoski and his partner were backing up two other officers who responded to a home invasion call. A basement apartment, occupied by a drug dealer, had been broken into by five men. They were beating the dealer when another person in the building called 911.
The two officers who originally responded were questioning the victim inside the apartment while Figoski and his partner remained outside. The suspects fled and one of the them came face to face with Figoski. The officer was shot once in the face with a semiautomatic handgun. The five men were subsequently arrested.
Lamont Pride, 27, is charged with first degree murder. Three of the other four men face charges of second degree murder in the officer's death.
Last Nov. 3, Pride was arrested in New York for possession of drugs and a charge of child endangerment. He was also wanted in North Carolina in regards to a shooting in Greensboro last August. There was some confusion whether or not the state of North Carolina had made an official request for extradition.
Judge Evelyn Lapointe, despite knowing about the incident in North Carolina, released Pride on his own recognizance. Six weeks later, Figoski lay dead.
Lapointe's decision came under fire and one of the most vocal critics of her decision to release Pride was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg said, If the judge didn't understand the warrant from North Carolina, the judge could have picked up the phone. But if you're talking about somebody who the rap sheet in front of you shows is potentially a dangerous person, has a gun, has a criminal history, common sense says you don't let him out until you make one phone call. It's not a lot of work to do that to protect the public. It wasn't done here, plain and simple.
But not everyone was critical of Lapointe's decision to release Pride. A spokesperson for the New York courts said judges do not make phone calls; that would be up to prosecutors and police. The charges that Pride was charged with in November were "low-level" and the prosecutors were only seeking $2,500 bail.
Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles Hynes, said for Bloomberg to say that Lapointe was somehow complicit in Figoski's death was over the top.
After Bloomberg made his remarks on Wednesday, Lapointe herself "bailed." She failed to show up for work on Thursday and Friday.
It is anticipated that between 10 and 15,000 people will attend the funeral Mass.
More about lamont pride, peter figoski, Nypd, Cop killing, mayor michael bloomberg
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