Day 77

Giuseppe Petrosino

March 16th, 2012

Joe Petrosino was the city's first Italian-American police detective. Standing a feisty (and chunky) 5-foot-3, he was a prominent leader in the fight against Italian-American organized crime around the turn of the 20th century. This role eventually cost him his life when he was assassinated in 1909 while on a mission in Sicily, making him the only NYC police officer killed in the line of duty outside the US. While his name has largely been forgotten in the years since, he was beloved by the New Yorkers of his time: an estimated 200,000 people turned out to watch his funeral procession (photo) make its way through the streets of Manhattan and Queens!

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