Commissioner Bill Bratton assures NYPD will ‘actively pursue’ investigation into death of Queens man

Robert Martirez, 56, died June 24, 2014 two days after he was attacked blocks away from his Elmhurst home.

Robert Martirez, 56, died June 24, 2014 two days after he was attacked blocks away from his Elmhurst home.

Police Commissioner William ‘Bill’ Bratton has given his assurance that “cases involving Filipinos will remain a high priority” for the NYPD.

Bratton made this statement in a July 6 meeting with Consul General Mario de Leon Jr. at the commissioner’s office in downtown Manhattan.

De Leon called on Bratton as a diplomatic courtesy and also to reestablish friendly relations between the Philippine Consulate and New York’s law enforcement establishment. He sought the NYPD chief’s assistance in the resolution of the death of Queens resident Roberto Martirez.

Martirez, a family driver, died after being punched by an assailant in what was suspected as a “hate crime” in Woodside in June 2014. No suspect has been apprehended, but the victim’s family as well as community supporters continue to seek justice.

The case of journalist Randy Gener, who was in a coma for weeks after being beaten up near Times Square in January last year, was also raised during the meeting.

Bratton assured De Leon that cases involving Filipinos will remain a high priority and, in the death case of Roberto Martirez, he promised that the NYPD will “actively pursue leads until investigation terminates with an arrest of a suspect,” according to a statement released by the Philippine Consulate. He promised to inform the Consulate General of developments relating to these cases.

De Leon thanked Bratton for keeping New York City residents, including Filipinos, safe in their community and for promoting unity and harmony along ethnic lines beginning with assembling a diverse police force to safeguard the welfare of every New York resident.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and Consul General Mario de Leon Jr.: Keeping New Yorkers, including Filipinos, safe

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and Consul General Mario de Leon Jr.: Keeping New Yorkers, including Filipinos, safe

He cited Bratton’s track record as a highly-decorated, two-time New York Police commissioner. He said Bratton’s stewardship of the NYPD has been good for the city, which reports a steadily declining crime rate.

De Leon referred to an existing Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the NYPD that has been in place since 2013, which provides a platform for intelligence and security exchanges, and cooperation between the two organizations.

Bratton said he welcomes the Memorandum, which was signed by his predecessor Commissioner Ray Kelly, and conveys his wish for deeper collaboration with PNP, including possible exchanges, that relate to counter-terrorism, security best practices, and intelligence gathering.

He promised to actively work in bringing the NYPD closer to the Filipino community and the Consulate General in areas involving peace and order and civic welfare as well as encouraging more qualified Filipinos to join the NYPD.

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