Officer Omar Edwards was in plainclothes when he was chasing a thief suspected of breaking into his parked car in East Harlem. He was fatally shot by another officer responding to the crime after he failed to drop his weapon.
Edwards, 25, was posthumously promoted to detective after his accidental death in May 2009. Yesterday, he was awarded the NYPD’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. In his two years on the force, he made 24 arrests, city officials noted.
“It is with pride, great sadness and immeasurable gratitude that we present the Medal of Honor to his family,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Sgt. Timothy Smith, a 13-year NYPD veteran, also received the Medal of Honor. Responding to a violent, emotionally disturbed Queens man off his anti-psychotic medication last January, Smith was stabbed in the face and upper body and suffered massive injuries to his left eye and brain. He continues rehabilitative therapy after four months in the hospital.