ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a law Thursday that renames part of the Southern State Parkway for the late police Det. Steven McDonald, the Malverne resident whose recovery from a shooting and message of forgiveness became an inspiration to many.
The new law renames the section that runs from the interchange of the Belt Parkway and Cross Island Parkway and ends at Exit 22 in Nassau County as the “Detective Steven McDonald Memorial Highway.” The law becomes effective in 30 days.
“As both a member of New York City Police and an advocate for the disabled, Detective Steven McDonald demonstrated the bravery and compassion that exemplified the very best of New York,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This honor will help ensure that his sacrifice, service and advocacy will never be forgotten.”
McDonald, 59, died in January, more than three decades after a line-of-duty shooting in Central Park left him a quadriplegic. Eight months after the 1986 incident, McDonald forgave Shavod Jones, the teenager who shot him. The NYPD officer used that as a turning point to begin talking to community leaders, students and fellow police officers about the power of forgiveness.
Assemb. Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook), who sponsored the bill in the Assembly, had called McDonald not only a “beloved local hero” but also an “inspiration to all of New York.” Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport), who sponsored it in the Senate, said: “Detective Steven McDonald embodied strength, resiliency, and forgiveness in the face of adversity as he led an extraordinary life serving others.”
“Our children do not have to rely on superhero movies to learn about heroics — they just need to learn about Detective McDonald,” added Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), whose district includes Malverne.