New effort seeks to recognize slain teen ‘Junior’ as NYPD member
Family members, classmates and friends marked the second anniversary of the slaying of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz on Saturday amid a new push to fulfill one of the slain teen's dreams.
Classmates of Junior delivered flowers to his grave at St. Raymond’s Cemetery on Saturday. His mother used prayer to cope.
"I just want my son back, the only thing that's going to bring my happiness back is my son," she said.
Retired U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class John Perez says he is now working with the NYPD to preserve Junior’s dream of joining the NYPD.
"We are working on the process of making Junior a full police officer and recognized as a police officer -- as the youngest police officer in the City of New York,” Perez says.
Guzman-Feliz was a member of the NYPD’s Explorers Program for about a year before authorities say he was stabbed to death by members of the Trinitarios street gang after being mistaken for a rival gang member.
The teen’s grave depicts him wearing the Explorers jacket. The department’s program introduces young people to a career in law enforcement. Junior’s cousin participated with him.
"He always wanted to get the bad guys out of the street and he wanted to do good for the community,” the cousin says.
Supporters say posthumously making Junior an officer would make a difference to his legacy.