Police Officer Gregory Philip Foster

Police Officer Gregory Philip Foster

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Thursday, January 27, 1972

Gregory Philip Foster

Officer Gregory Foster and Officer Rocco Laurie were assassinated by members of the Black Liberation Army while walking their patrol beat on Avenue B and East 11th Street in the 9th Precinct.

As they were walking down the street, three or four suspects walked passed them, spun around, and opened fire, shooting them in their backs. After the officers fell, the killers took their handguns and shot them several more times.

On February 14,1972, one of two suspects was shot and killed in a gun battle with police in St. Louis, Missouri. The other suspect, arrested at the scene, had Officer Laurie's service revolver in his possession. He was returned to New York and charged with two counts of murder. He was acquitted in 1973. He was returned to Missouri where he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for convictions from the St. Louis incident. A third suspect was captured in New Orleans in 1973. He was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Patrolman Waverly Jones and Patrolman Joseph A. Piagentiai of the New York City Police Department on May 21, 1971.

Officer Foster had served with the New York City Police Department for one year. He was survived by his wife, two children, parents, and five siblings. Officer Foster and Officer Laurie served in the U.S. Marine Corps together and were Vietnam combat veterans. When they joined the New York City Police Department they requested to be assigned to the same Precinct.

The Black Liberation Army was a violent, radical group that attempted to fight for independence from the United States government in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The BLA was responsible for the murders of more than 10 police officers around the country. They were also responsible for violent attacks around the country that left many police officers wounded.


  • Age 22
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge 13737
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender One later shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 43 Reflections

I did not know either of these brave officers personally. However, Greg Foster served in the same Marine Corps battalion as did I -- 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (Regiment). I served with Echo Company, Foster with Golf Company. We never met, but we share a bond as brother Marines. Greg Foster was awarded the Bronze Star, Silver Star, and Purple Heart medals for bravery-in-action and wound received. From all accounts, he was a hell of a Marine; I'm certain he was also a hell of a cop. May both Foster and Laurie rest in peace.

E. Michael Helms

E. Michael Helms
Former USMC.

February 18, 2018

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