NEW YORK (CBS 2) – It was almost 39 years ago to the day that a New York City police officer was killed in the line of duty, but no one has ever been convicted in his death.
CBS 2’s Magee Hickey reports that hundreds of police officers are doing what they can to keep the case, and the Officer Phil Cardillo’s memory, alive.
Close to 300 police officers on motorcycles, as part of the Blue Knights, participated in a ride to remember a slain police officer and his unsolved murder in April 1972.
“We’re going to keep Phil Cardillo’s memory alive, and what happened to him, it should never happen again,” Blue Knights president John Malandrino said.
It was 39 years ago that Officer Cardillo, a husband and father of three, was lured to a Harlem mosque by a fake emergency call. There, he was attacked by more than a dozen men, beaten and shot to death.
Retired detective Rudy Andre was there.
“The perpetrator was knocked out in the basement. When I was in the mosque, he came towards me and I sent him to Harlem Hospital,” Andre said. “If there was a proper investigation at the time, and interviewed this fellow, the police department would have made an arrest.”
Only one man was arrested in the killing, but he was freed after a mistrial.
“During that period of time, some police supervisors and politicians allowed all the perpetrators to get away from prosecution,” Malandrino said.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly reopened the case four years ago, but there have been few new leads.
“The FBI, if they would just open the books and let us see, they have some information and we could bring a cop-killer to justice,” Officer Cardillo’s cousin, Bobby Cardillo, said.
The motorcycle memorial wasn’t enough for family and friends, who hope a street near the 28th Precinct stationhouse in Harlem will be renamed in Officer Cardillo’s memory.
“It could be a just tribute to an officer that did his job and died in the line of duty,” retired NYPD Officer Norm Horowitz said.