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Slain NYPD cop remembered with plaque after 2019 death by friendly fire

A portrait of NYPD officer Brian Mulkeen is

A portrait of NYPD officer Brian Mulkeen is displayed as the hearse carrying his body arrives as thousands of police officers and mourners gather Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, for the funeral of Mulkeen at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Monroe, N.Y. Mulkeen, 33, who was killed in a friendly fire incident as he wrestled with a suspect running from he and his fellow officers in the Bronx last week, grew up in Monroe and graduated from Monroe-Woodbury High School before attending Fordham University. He returned to Orange County to start his police career in Tuxedo, then joined the New York Police Department nearly seven years ago... Credit: Craig Ruttle

A memorial plaque was dedicated Tuesday in the Bronx to commemorate the anniversary of the 2019 killing of NYPD cop Brian Mulkeen, who was mistakenly shot by fellow officers during a struggle with an armed suspect.

Attending the ceremony outside the Patrol Borough Bronx facility along the Cross Bronx Expressway were the family of Mulkeen and NYPD leadership, including Police Commissioner, Dermot Shea.

On Sept. 29, 2019, Mulkeen, 33, became the second NYPD cop that year to die in a so-called friendly fire shooting.

"When violent criminals put the lives of our officers and the people they serve at risk, we should be angry. When the criminal justice system worries more about criminals than with the victims of violence, we should be angry," Shea said at the ceremony. "And when a police officer, God forbid, is killed doing his or her job, a job that’s done on behalf of all New Yorkers, we should all be angry. And I can tell you I am, and I’m not alone."

The suspect, Antonio Williams, was killed by officers as he tried to grab Mulkeen’s weapon in the struggle, then-commissioner James O’Neill said soon afterward. Mulkeen had approached to ask about shootings in the area.

On Tuesday, Shea said: "It takes a tremendous amount of courage and skill to do the work that Brian and his team were all adept at doing — the type of courage that ordinary people really don't possess, much less display every single day, day in and day out."

Mulkeen was part of the NYPD anti-crime unit, which Shea has since disbanded, with crime-fighting duties distributed elsewhere in the department.

Soon after his death, Mulkeen was posthumously promoted to detective.

At Tuesday's ceremony, Msgr. Robert J. Romano, an NYPD chaplain, said: "We pray for the repose of the soul of Detective Brian Mulkeen as we gather here today. We pray for him, and we pray for all the members of our department who have been taken from us. Today we are especially grateful for his family to be with us here today. We pray that they might receive the consolation that they so desperately need."

The other NYPD officer to be mistakenly shot and killed by fellow cops was Brian Simonsen, 42, of Calverton. Simonsen was shot when fellow officers responding to a robbery attempt fired 42 times in 11 seconds after the suspect brandished what turned out to be an imitation pistol.

Later Tuesday, the family of Williams, several state lawmakers and relatives of other civilians killed in confrontations with NYPD cops held a vigil and march near the shooting scene, according to a news release by Communities United for Police Reform and the Justice Committee, which both helped organize the event.

The news release demanded the officers' firings and described the shooting as a "reckless hail of 15 bullets from multiple plainclothes Bronx police officers ... during what is believed to have been an unlawful stop."

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