Thousands turn out for the Dominican Day Parade


The Dominican Day Parade in Midtown Manhattan on Sunday paid tribute to NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia, who was killed in the line of duty in the Bronx last month.

Thousands who gathered for the 35th annual Dominican pride celebration witnessed the city honor the slain officer with a posthumous lifetime service award.

"I'm happy they are honoring her," said Virgina Caro, 23, of the Bronx. "She was a fighter who died doing her job."

The award was presented to Familia’s family during a ceremony held before the parade kicked off at noon. Police Commissioner James O'Neill and hundreds of other officers joined her children, Genesis, 20, and 12-year-old twins Peter and Delilah for the honor. The New York Dominican Officers Organization presented them with a flag as they silently held up a picture of their mother.

"Her legacy will never fade from importance or memory," O'Neill tweeted earlier in the day.

Familia joined the NYPD 12 years ago and was assigned to the anti-crime unit of the 46th precinct in the Bronx. She was sitting in a police truck in the Bronx on July 5 during her overnight shift when a gunman opened fire. He was eventually killed by police.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and police officers marched with Familia's family as revelers expressed their remorse and support. Decked out in the nation’s blue, red and white colors, onlookers cheered as colorful floats and marchers made their way up Sixth Avenue.

Mino Lora, 36, of the Bronx, said she came with her 3-year-old daughter, Emma, because she wanted her to remember her roots.

"We can sometimes be siloed all over the city, but this is the one time in the year we can all come together," she said.

Several groups and city agencies, including the NYPD, FDNY and Department of Sanitation, participated in the parade. Led by grand marshal U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, the parade also acknowledged several other honorees, including leadership ambassador Henry Rubio.

Rubio’s brother, Omar, 40, of Maspeth, arrived at the parade with his family for their first visit and said he was impressed with the turnout.

"For me, it's so good to see so many people come together," he said. "It helps unite the city and the different cultures we have here."

With Laura Figueroa

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