Hundreds gathered at the NYPD Central Park Precinct for the unveiling of a memorial plaque honoring the late Detective Steven McDonald. Detective Steven McDonald was patrolling Central Park as a second-year cop when he was shot by a 15-year-old gunman. Although these bullets paralyzed Detective McDonald from the neck down, he never allowed his injuries to immobilize his commitment to service. When Detective McDonald returned home, he almost immediately forgave his shooter and became an NYPD mentor and spokesman for compassion. For the next 31 years, he continued working with the NYPD to inspire others across the world with his message of peace and forgiveness until his death in 2017.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill presided over the ceremony attended by NYPD cops and community members. Detective McDonald’s wife, Patti Ann McDonald, and son, Conor McDonald, addressed those present and reflected on his life of purpose. During the police commissioner’s remarks, he spoke fondly of Detective McDonald’s legendary grace, enthusiasm, and tenacity. Police Commissioner O’Neill emphasized the vital importance of commemorating Detective McDonald’s incredible sacrifice.
“As visitors to this 843 acres see this plaque, officers can tell them about the man Steven was and still is,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill.
Detective McDonald’s legacy lives on in all the lives he has positively affected and will continue to affect. His integrity and compassion can most potently be seen in the work of his wife and son.