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 bank and were attempting to escape. The suspects had just murdered an 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 on Route 59 just west of the New York Thruway.

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 afterward 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 seven men and three women were eventually apprehended and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. One of the women was paroled in August 2003. Another woman was released July 15, 2010, and died of cancer one month later. One of the men died in prison on December 13, 1986. The third female offender was granted parole in April 2019.

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.

Another subject was placed on FBI 10 Most Wanted List in 1982 for helping his sister, an accomplice in the New Jersey State killings, escaped from prison in 1979. He was captured in 1986.

Officer Brown had served with the Nyack Police Department for 15 years. He 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.

Bio

  • Age 45
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge 19
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

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

ambush, gang member, roadblock, robbery, terrorism

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Officer Brown.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

April 21, 2019

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