Peter Figoski was a veteren NYPD officer with 22 years of distinguished service to the city of New York. He was also a devoted dad to his four young daughters who must now face the coming Christmas and their future without the father who sacrificed much of his personal life for them.
Yesterday, officer Figoski was shot and killed by a man who by most evaluations, should have still been in jail.
The alleged cop killer is Lamont Pride, a career criminal who was arrested last month and charged with felony possession of drugs. Pride's arrest should have triggered a simple background check that would have revealed the man had a serious criminal record including an outstanding warrant from North Carolina where he was wanted on weapons and assault charges.
Despite the outstanding warrant and the current felony charges for drug possession, the District Attorney's office suggest a bail amount of $2500.
Judge Evelyn Laporte (profiled in the clip below during Hispanic Heritage week 2006) was presiding over the bail hearing and was even more lenient, refusing to set any bail for Lamont Pride.
The NY Post reports the judge's statement at the bail hearing:
“I am not going to set bail” for Pride, Laporte said, “even though the drugs were [found] pursuant to a search warrant.”
The crook was set free, released on his own recognizance and told to return to court later in November. Lamont Pride did not show up in court.
Early yesterday morning, Pride and another man were reportedly involved in a burglary in the Cypress Hills section of Brooklyn. Officer Figoski and his partner Glenn Estrada responded to a call for backup and ended up being ambushed by the two suspects.
Pride shot Figoski in the face, killing him and then attempted to flee the scene. Estrada chased the killer for a few blocks, finally capturing him. The second suspect remains at large.
This security camera video showing a potential witness to the killing has been released by the NYPD:
The horrific loss of a veteran police office, father and hero is only made worse by the realization that none of it would have happened if the career criminal had remained in jail. A New York Post editorial asks the question, "Why Was He Freed To Kill?"
Melissa Russo of WNBC in NY has the latest details;
The tragedy of Peter Figoski's death is compounded by the realization that this did not have to happen. The New York Post has established a fund for the education of the slain officer's four daughters.