Mayor Bill de Blasio At National Night Out

Mike Sugerman/WCBS 880

Lesandro 'Junior' Feliz-Guzman Remembered At National Night Out

August 07, 2018 - 7:22 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Tuesday night marked National Night Out, when police officers and civilians mingle and get to know each other.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman reported, it was a special evening in the Bronx because of the recent murder of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Feliz-Guzman, who had aspired to become a police officer himself.

It started out as an act of defiance – people staying out in dangerous neighborhoods to show they weren’t afraid. But the tone turned poignant as people remembered Lesandro, who was killed outside a bodega by gang members in a case of mistaken identity.

“Thank you for your help on this case,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. “Without your help and your immediate response, I think justice for Junior would have taken a while longer.”

National Night Out
Mike Sugerman/WCBS 880

Mayor Bill de Blasio continued the theme.

“The loss of the life of a young man who had the aspiration to serve us all as a police officer – that is even more painful,” de Blasio said. “He had such promise and such hope.”

It was a bit awkward, though, as police union members held up signs protesting the lack of a contract. It has been a year since they had one.

National Night Out Police Union Protest
Mike Sugerman/WCBS 880

“(Mayor de Blasio) has to actually be there,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association treasurer Joe Alejandro. “He has to wake up, skip the gym for the day, and actually come to the table and negotiate with the police officers.”

Alejandro and his crew left quickly, but they are dogging the mayor throughout the evening.