Patrolman Rocco W. Laurie

Patrolman Rocco W. Laurie

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Thursday, January 27, 1972

Add to My Heroes

Rocco W. Laurie

Patrolman Rocco Laurie and Patrolman Gregory Foster 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 past them, spun around, and opened fire, shooting them in their backs. After the patrolmen fell, the killers took their handguns and shot them several more times.

On Feb. 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 in 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.

Patrolman Laurie served with the New York City Police Department for two years. He was survived by his wife. Patrolman Laurie and Officer Foster 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.

Patrolman Laurie is buried at Saint Peter's Cemetery in West New Brighton, New York.

In October 2019, Otis Avenue at Hylan Avenue in Staten Island was renamed Police Officer Rocco W. Laurie Way in his honor.

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 23
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 11019
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender One later shot and killed


Most Recent Reflection

View all 73 Reflections

On January 27, 2022, I put on my uniform and stood at attention in front of the 9th Precinct to attend the 50th Memorial Service for Officers Foster and Laurie. The man that stood next to me proudly wears the 9th Precinct collar brass, a fourth generation N.Y.P.D Officer, my son. As we stood together and listened to all the speeches, the speech that moved me to tears was listening to Mrs. Laurie. The way she described the night of her husband's death, the banging on her door, the barking of her dog Buster, the trip to the hospital, and her time in the hospital, was as if she was describing something that happened only yesterday, but we all know it was 50 years ago. As she spoke, I could understand and feel her pain for the loss of her husband 50 years ago. I know that pain will never go away, no matter how many years go by. God Bless Mrs. Laurie and God bless the Foster family and GOD BLESS THE MEN AND WOMEN IN LAW ENFORCEMENT.
Jim Rail, N.Y.P.D 1984 to 1994, Ret N.C.P.D 1994 to 2017

P.O. James Rail

February 3, 2022

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.