A steady stream of mourners came to a South Bronx church Monday to pay their last respects to slain NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia, a 12-year veteran and mother of three fatally shot while sitting in a police vehicle last week.
Relatives, friends, and complete strangers who only came to know Familia from news of her death — alongside scores of uniformed NYPD officers — lined up outside the World Changers Church in Fordham Heights, compelled, they said, to recognize her sacrifice.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo emerged from the church Monday evening, saying he tried his best to console Familia’s family — including her three children — “but it is hard to find the words.”
Cuomo, who also referenced the Sunday night killing of state trooper Joel Davis while responding to a domestic violence incident upstate, called Familia’s slaying — fueled by a hatred for law enforcement, police have said — “a symbol of the hate and violence and it’s got to stop.”
“We have to respect our law enforcement and appreciate their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families who worry each day about the danger their loved ones face,” said Cuomo.
In addition to throngs of NYPD officers, some openly weeping and embracing one another, officers from far-flung cities like Fort Worth, Texas; Aurora, Colorado and Chicago lined the Bronx sidewalk.
Police from the Dominican Republic, where Familia’s family hails from, also attended the wake and presented the fallen officer’s family with a Dominican flag.
Also among the mourners was Marley Hutchinson, 35, an early education teacher from Jamaica.
“I had to come to view the body of a police officer who sacrificed their life to protect us,” said Hutchinson. “She represents the heroism of all officers across the world.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio attended the wake but left without speaking to reporters.
Familia’s funeral, set for Tuesday at 10 a.m., is expected to draw about 25,000 people, according to the NYPD. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.
Familia, 48, was killed when a gunman opened fire as she sat in a police vehicle at the intersection of East 183rd Street and Creston Avenue in the Fordham Heights section, according to the NYPD. The gunman, Alexander Bonds, was shot dead minutes later by other NYPD officers after he drew a .38-caliber handgun when confronted.
“I am here because we have to stand up against the violence,” said Janet McMannis, 74, of Baltimore, a retired teacher who stood in line. “There’s a tendency to view the world as us against them. White against black . . . police against us. This is the U.S. and that means “us” . . . all of us.”
Security was tight outside the church, with police K-9s and heavily armed officers from the department’s Emergency Service Unit on hand.
Victoria Raphael, 55, of Fordham Heights, lives near the 46th Precinct where Familia worked and said she often parked in front of her building.
“I had a lot of respect for her,” said Raphael, whose son-in-law is an NYPD detective. “She was a single mother raising her children while sacrificing her life to protect us. As a single mother I am very proud of her.”
With Maria Alvarez
SERVICES FOR SLAIN OFFICER
The funeral for NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia is expected to draw close to the 25,000, officials said.
WHERE: World Changers Church, 2417 Grand Concourse, the Bronx
WAKE: Monday, 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
FUNERAL: Tuesday, 10 a.m.