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Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Richard Valdemar

Richard Valdemar

Sgt. Richard Valdemar retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after spending most of his 33 years on the job combating gangs.

Police Officers on Wanted Posters

A Blood set issued a death threat against two NYPD officers on Instagram.

April 08, 2013  |  by Richard Valdemar - Also by this author

Photo by Paul Clinton.
Photo by Paul Clinton.

A startling story appeared in March in which New York gang members released a wanted poster showing two New York Police Department officers on Instagram. The poster featured pictures of Sgt. Mourad Mourad and Officer Jovaniel Cordova with the caption, "50z want these pigs heads."

Looking back, I remember that one of my early police heroes, Newark (N.J.) Police detective David Toma, had photographs of his face posted near the entrance of each doorway of any criminal establishment run by Italian organized crime in the 1970s. Detective Toma was the central character of a short-lived television series based on his exciting exploits, "Dave Toma" (1973-74), and the spin off, "Baretta" (1975-78). Toma busted some of the highest-ranking organized crime figures of that era. He did it with stealth and disguise, even at one time impersonating a Catholic priest. The mob feared this one-man wreaking crew and posted the pictures to prevent him from infiltrating their businesses. It didn't work.   

Raised by his mother, who had been a Christian missionary, Dave Toma was indoctrinated at an early age to act with honor and total honesty. This sometimes rubbed the less-honest citizens, and even some of his fellow cops, the wrong way. Being a former U.S. Marine Corps boxing champ, he could take care of himself. It also won him lots of street respect from the community and even among the drug addicts and gang members. This real-life superhero is still working to combat gangs and drug abuse.

So these NYPD officers are in good company with Dave Toma. All this began for them on March 9 in an East Flatbush neighborhood when plain-clothes officers made a pedestrian stop on Kimani "Kiki" Gray. When Gray was ordered by the officers to stop and freeze, he instead drew his .38-caliber pistol. He was hit seven times by the officers' gunfire.

Gray's death sparked several days of violence and unrest in Flatbush. Angry about the police shooting, some residents trashed neighborhood businesses. The angry protesters greeted responding cops with showers of rocks and bottles. Some residents portrayed the young man as a promising high school student. In a letter to the community, high school principal Matt Willoughby wrote, "We believed in his potential from the day he entered our school."

But cops say Gray was a member of a Blood gang. He had been arrested in the past for grand larceny and inciting a riot. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called the officer-involved shooting justified and reminded the media that Gray's pistol was recovered at the scene.

According to a March 19 article in the New York Post, law enforcement sources said that the Brooklyn teen and his friends were out that night to commit a robbery. Online videos and pictures have surfaced in which the teen pronounces his allegiance to the crew by making gang signs with his hands. A source said 50z is a Blood gang subset.

Whoever posted the police wanted poster showing the NYPD officers used the screen name "safjcrossfit." In addition to the photographs, the message called for any potential killers to "empty the clip on umm."

Responding with due caution to the posted threats to the officers' safety, the NYPD has beefed up patrols surrounding the threatened officers neighborhoods and provided both men with police radios for them to take home. Having been the victim of gang threats myself, I know that the officers must be unhappy with the safety restrictions that must be imposed by the department police brass. Officers Cordova and Mourad have been assigned to desk duty pending the completion of the shooting investigation and the identification of the suspects and resolution of the threats against their lives.

Like my hero Dave Toma, the legendary New Jersey detective, these New York officers should consider the threats from the bad guys and the gangs as a true compliment. It means they are making a real difference in our noble profession, protecting and serving the public. Even the gang members recognize that.


Handling Threats: "I'm Going to Kill You!"

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Bailey @ 4/8/2013 6:51 AM

I recently had a very similar situation happen to myself and one of my partners. I work in a large city as part of a multi agency task force. While making a street arrest on a career criminal with eight felony warrants our photo was taken by a passing car. At the time we never saw the photo being taken.

The next day our photo was on an offenders phone another team arrested for a narcotics warrant.

The entire gang used Instagram to take pictures of detectives, unmarked vehicles, tags and would place hot locations on the page of where police were working each day.

You think they aren't paying attention until you find your photo on their phone....

Jim A @ 4/9/2013 11:33 PM

Bailey, excellent point. It is just lucky that most of us are ugly enough we would break the cameras!

Hey, everyone. Have a safe day!! God Bless America!!!

Trigger @ 4/10/2013 6:54 AM

Be safe my Brothers and Sisters, the streets are not always friendly!

krisnlc @ 4/10/2013 7:34 AM

Kudos to Sgt. Mourad and Officer Cordova. Sorry it came about as a result of having to shoot someone...most officers would rather avoid that circumstance. However, you have a job to do and by doing it sometimes society forgets who the good guys are...sure the kid may have had potential, and played it up well to some people who did not yet see him for who he really was....but officers like you guys get paid to see through that veil for community well being and sake. Good work to you guys for defending your community and yourselves...stay safe and alert. those knuckleheads are out there and think they know what they are doing, typically they will end up hurting others in their efforts... gang violence and associations should have "zeri tolerance" by all communities, and at the risk of sounding like a psycho-path, those claiming active gang associations should be eliminated. Be careful Sgt. Mourad and Officer dont have the same level of community protection as the idiots in those gangs.

leonard mather @ 4/10/2013 9:22 AM

As US moves toward the economies of Greece, Spain and socialism, more of these gang/mini-cartel operations will appear. They have no rules; we do. Sun Tzu's Art of War (1,000 years ago) said, "You must know your enemy better than he knows you; if not, the enemy will win." The latter book is required reading in ALL of our Military Academies. PMC like Blackwater and Executive Management were not handicapped by regulations. To beat the Cartel one must "out-Cartel them." Similarly with gangs. Sadly, we are hampered by regulations.

Sherry @ 4/22/2013 2:26 AM

I am not an Officer. I think someone should send a note to two gangs that do not like one another saying lets meet for a fight. Or whatever terms they use today. Anyway, they should met to fight it out and kill one another off then arrest the rest.
This should be done once a month. That would keep the numbers down and would slow on taxpayers moneys dealing with them in the future.
Just a thought.

Sherry @ 4/22/2013 2:35 AM

To Leonard Mather,
The Cartel have help from our ATF as they sold them over 64,000 guns. Can you believe it? Where is the money they were paid for the guns? How in the world did they plan to track the guns once in Mexico? No one has gone to jail for this event as a matter of fact it has been no big deal for our government. I am sure our government made bank on the funds. So I am sure the Cartel feel they have it made on both sides of the coin. I am so made at such events. It makes the efforts of good Officers look like nothing. So, bottome line is we can not fix things below until things get fix up top.

[email protected] @ 4/24/2013 10:53 PM

Sgt.Valdemar, Dave Toma was a real, live hero to a lot of us. It was bad enough that the bad guys were after him but worse were the crooked cops that threatened his life, on and off the Job. His bio should be a "must read" to every cadet in every academy. They just don't grow them like him anymore. Blues, Stay Safe.

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