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Hero cop laid to rest in Brooklyn funeral after 33 years in coma

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The family of fallen NYPD Officer Troy Patterson and the entire New York Police Department laid the hero cop to rest on Friday in an emotional Brooklyn funeral with full honors after he passed away following a three-decade-long coma.

For many loved ones of police officers, the story of Troy Patterson is their living nightmare. At 27, the officer who graduated from the police academy in 1983 and served the city out of the 60th Precinct was washing his car in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Jan. 16, 1990 when three young men allegedly attempted to rob him of about $20. During the struggle, Patterson was shot in the head, leaving him in a catatonic state for 33 years until he died on April 29.

Officers pay their respects. Photo by Dean Moses residents watch from their windows. Photo by Dean Moses  The family of fallen NYPD Officer Troy Patterson and the entire New York Police Department laid the hero cop to rest on Friday in an emotional Brooklyn funeral with full honors after he passed away following a three-decade-long coma. Photo by Dean Moses

After suffering the initial tragedy, living with the coma, and then his death, Patterson’s family gathered at the Historic First Church of God in Christ located on 211 Kingston Avenue on May 5 to say goodbye. While their suffering is immeasurable, top police brass and Mayor Eric Adams offered comfort by attending the service and mourning alongside them.

The mayor commended Patterson for his service during the late 1980s, a time when Hizzoner said the city was overrun with crime.

“Do you remember what the streets were like? The streets were filled with crack cocaine, filled with violence—it was filled with a total disregard for public safety. It was filled with people waking up to gunshots and not alarm clocks. But men like Troy stayed, they didn’t flee. They remained in the community and stated that they were not going to surrender our community to those that wanted to bring about terror and violence,” Adams said.

NYPD Officer Troy Patterson is moved from the church. Photo by Dean Moses Family mourn. Photo by Dean Moses Family mourn. Photo by Dean Moses

According to NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Edward Caban, Patterson made 150 arrests during his six years of service and refused to back down when the Big Apple was averaging 2,400 homicides a year. Caban believes Patterson’s very last act of heroic service was making the ultimate sacrifice on that day, so another New Yorker did not have to.

“In my mind, because Troy was there, because he was the one they chose to engage. He spared someone else from being robbed, in what will become his final act of service. He protected the next innocent New Yorker who might have otherwise crossed their path and become a victim,” Caban said. “His resilience is now legendary. He inspired a generation of New York’s finest and now, making the ultimate sacrifice, he will forever be enshrined in the history of the NYPD.”

May Patterson weeps. Photo by Dean Moses Patterson and Troy Patterson II receive their flags. Photo by Dean Moses

Patterson leaves behind a son, granddaughters, several aunts, and the largest police force in America to lament his passing. His son, Troy Patterson II and aunt May Patterson, were each presented with the Star Spangled Banner which had been draped over the coffin during the service. 

“I just want to know why can’t he move? That was the hardest thing,” Troy II said, recalling the childhood memory of watching his father in a coma.

Patterson will be buried at the Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale New York.

The family of fallen NYPD Officer Troy Patterson and the entire New York Police Department laid the hero cop to rest on Friday in an emotional Brooklyn funeral with full honors after he passed away following a three-decade long coma. Photo by Dean Moses  The procession departs. Photo by Dean Moses


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