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©1999 - 2005
Edward D. Reuss
All rights reserved. Including the right of reproduction in whole or part in any form

 

MEMORIAL TO FALLEN WARRIORS

January 27, 1972 is a date that is seared into the collective memories of the men and women of the New York City Police Department. Those who served in the 9th Precinct, “The Fighting 9th”, have even more reason to remember that day.


Photo by NYCOP Online Magazine
The unveiling of the restored USMC Plaque that is affixed in front of the 9th Precinct
USMC Honor Guard and 9th Precinct members with the father of Gregory Foster


Two 9th Precinct cops who had also served as United States Marines were assassinated by members of the Black Liberation Army (BLA) on that day three decades ago.  To those of us who were cops during those violent times in our history, the murders of these two officers will never be forgotten.

Every cop in these United States should know the facts surrounding these attacks on our police officers.  The events surrounding the assassination of Officers Laurie and Foster weren’t the first of such assassinations.  Officers Joseph A.Piagentini and Waverly M. Jones, had responded to an unfounded job in the 32 Precinct.  As they returned to the parked radio car, a group of men waited as they passed and assassinated them.  This occurred a few months prior to the killing of Officer Laurie and Foster in the 9th Precinct. The men involved in these attacks belonged to the BLA, but the years following revealed much more of a conspiracy.  Terrorist groups that had names like the “Weathermen” had grown out of the so-called “peace movement” during the Viet Nam War.  Veteran cops remember the explosion inside a townhouse on West 11th Street in fashionable Greenwich Village on March 6, 1970.  The so-called “Weathermen” comprised of white radicals had been manufacturing bombs inside the townhouse. When the firefighters had gotten the fire under control, the building had been destroyed.  They found the remains of two bodies in the rubble.  Also, they found dynamite, blasting caps, metal pipes packed with explosives. In the confusion immediately after the explosion, neighbors rescued two “unidentified” white girls who had fled naked from the burning building.  These two disappeared after they had been given clothing.  They would reappear in later years involved in more terrorism.

On October 20, 1981, this same group of terrorists had linked up to rob a bank in the Nanuet Mall located in Nyack, New York.  This was located in a small suburban town of about 6,000 people.
The bank robbery has become well known as the “Brink’s Robbery”. The suspects in this robbery were an alliance of terrorists. The white radicals associated with the “Weathermen” and the black radicals with ties to the Black Liberation Army had joined forces to finance their goals. The bank in the Nanuet Mall was preparing to place $1.6 million dollars in a Brink’s Armored Car.  The suspects were armed with automatic rifles, shotguns, and 9MM handguns. They executed the robbery in a military fashion. They fled the scene in a U-Haul truck. When stopped by Nyack Police Officer Waverly Brown and Sergeant Edward O’Grady.  During the stop, the rear doors of the U-Haul flew open and six men firing automatic weapons killed Officer Brown. Sergeant O’Grady emptied his handgun and as he attempted to reload, one of the suspects killed him with an M-16 military rifle. Inside the U-Haul van were a number of women.  It is believed by many in law enforcement, that one of those women may have been involved in the killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and wounding of Trooper James Harper during a car stop on the New Jersey Turnpike.  That woman, later convicted of the murder of Trooper Foerster is a Joanne Chesimard.  After she was convicted, she escaped with assistance of unknown suspects from the Hunterdon County Prison.  She is still at large and is believed to be in Cuba.


Photo courtesy off NJ State Police web site
Click here to go to the site:
http://www.njsp.org/want/chesimard.html

To read the full story of this incident, go to the following web site:
Court TV’s The Crime Library
http://www.crimelibrary.com/terrorists/brinks/5.htm

 

Photo courtesy of Anthony Cracciolo
Left to right: Mr. Foster, Lorraine Shanley, Det. Victoria D’Angelo, Marie Dziergowski,
PBA President Patrick Lynch, PBA VP John Puglissi

 

Patrolman Gregory P. Foster, 9th Precinct

 

Patrolman Rocco W. Laurie, 9th Precinct


 


Photo by NY Cop Online Magazine
Veterans of “The Fighting 9th” who served with Laurie and Foster
Richard O’Neill, Donald Muldoon, Bill Ludwig, and Chris Reisman seated with Mr Foster

 

Photo by NY Cop Online Magazine
Left to right: Assistant Chief Michael Esposito, Commanding Officer, Patrol Borough Manhattan South, with Deputy Inspector Kevin Ward, Commanding Officer, 9th Precinct

 

Photo by NY Cop Online Magazine
Radio motor patrol car circa 1970

The 9th Precinct club has a web site that is of much interest to veterans of “The Fighting 9th”. This site has a history of the precinct:
http://members.tripod.com/Fighting9th/


 

EDITOR’S NOTE:

The Fighting 9th Precinct has a tradition of service that is unmatched in the history of the New York Police Department. For other stories about the men and women who have served in this Command, go to the following links:

Deadly Duel in the Hallway

The Fighting Ninth

Striptease in the Musterroom
 

 

Copyright © 2003 Edward D. Reuss

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