Police Officer Waverly L. Brown

Police Officer Waverly L. Brown

Nyack Police Department, New York

End of Watch Tuesday, October 20, 1981

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Waverly L. Brown

Police Officer Waverly Brown and Sergeant Edward O'Grady were shot and killed by heavily armed members of a domestic terrorist group, the Weather Underground, who had just robbed a Brinks armored truck of over a million dollars and were attempting to escape. The suspects had just murdered the armored car guard and wounded two other guards before loading themselves into the back of a rental truck to be driven away by accomplices. The truck was stopped at a roadblock manned by several Nyack officers.

One of the female occupants in the cab of the truck told the officers their guns were making her nervous. Thinking they had stopped the wrong truck, the officers began to holster their weapons. Almost immediately afterwards several of the heavily armed men exited the back of the truck and opened fire with automatic weapons, fatally wounding Officer Brown and Sergeant O'Grady.

The suspects fled the scene in different directions but three days later one of the men was shot and killed by NYPD detectives in Queens, New York. Six other men and three women were eventually apprehended and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. One of the female suspects was paroled in August 2003. Another one was released July 15, 2010, and died of cancer a month later. The third female suspect has her first parole hearing in early 2017. One of the men died in prison December 13, 1986. A second was released November 25, 2014. A third will be eligible for parole in 2056. A fourth, added to the FBI 10 most wanted list in 1982, was the last to be arrested in 1986 and sentenced to life. He was denied parole in 2016 but will be eligible for parole again in 2018.

A suspect convicted of killing Police Officer John G. Scarangella of the New York City Police Department, was a prime suspect in the murders of Sergeant O'Grady and Officer Brown. When he was arrested for the murder of Officer Scarangella, he was in possession of a gun linked to the murders of Sergeant O'Grady and Officer Brown. That suspect was never charged in these murders.

Officer Brown had been employed with the Nyack Police Department for 15 years and is survived by his mother and three children. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Nyack, Rockland County, New York.

The Weather Underground was also connected to the Black Liberation Army, which was responsible for the murders of at least one dozen other police officers throughout the country. The Weather Underground is believed responsible for the unsolved bombing murder of San Francisco, California, Police Department Sergeant Brian McDonnell on February 16, 1970.

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 45
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge 19
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Automatic
  • Offender Paroled in 2003

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I MISS YOU DAD. My heart is heavy that you never had the chance to meet your grandchildren and your great granddaughter.

wavenna McWilliams James

January 24, 2019

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