The pain never goes away. Never.
One of slain Police Officer Peter Figoski’s daughters grew so overcome with grief and pain on Day One of his alleged killer’s murder trial, she felt faint and fled the courtroom.
His other three daughters stoically bore witness as lawyers gave opening statements in the case against Lamont Pride. He’s the human excrement and waste of flesh who allegedly gunned down a fine officer on a dank Brooklyn staircase one chilly December night.
It’s been 13 months since the Figoski girls’ father was stolen from them, at ages when young ladies need their daddies the most. The agony will last a lifetime.
Caitlyn, Christine, Caroline and Corinne Figoski sat unflinchingly next to mother Paulette in the second row inside Brooklyn Supreme Court, flanked by men in blue. Ashen expressions on their young faces, they watched as lawyers prattled on. But no matter how hard the lawyers danced, there was no explaining such savagery by a man unfit to shine Figoski’s shoes.
Pride, 28, is charged with murdering Figoski on a dark and depressing staircase in East New York shortly after 2:15 a.m. on Dec. 12, 2011. Prosecutor Ken Taub alleged Pride and four idiot pals, all from Queens, were attempting to rob a pot dealer who lived in a basement apartment when Figoski and three other officers were alerted to the lame attempted heist.
Figoski’s death came less than two weeks before Christmas.
Figoski never had a chance to draw his gun.
He never had a chance to say goodbye.
Figoski’s girls, ages 15 through 20, were sentenced to hear, over and over, how, prosecutors allege, a filthy miscreant sank a single bullet, at point-blank range, into their father’s face as he tried to flee the scene of the attempted robbery.
One shot. Then the gun jammed.
It makes no sense.
“He can say, ‘You got me!’ ” said Taub.
“Or he can use the 9 millimeter handgun.” He had a choice. “This was no accident.’’
Daughter Caitlyn did her best to bear witness. But in the morning, as Taub was about to describe, in gruesome detail, the way a bullet ripped into her dad and came out his neck, she couldn’t take it anymore. Caitlyn fled the courtroom with her mother.
Then she walked into a back room, where emergency workers arrived to check out the distraught teen. They soon left, and Caitlyn walked back into the courtroom.
The girls’ father, their best friend, was 47 when he died. And Figoski was a 22-year police veteran, eligible to retire rather than pound the treacherous streets of Brooklyn. But he stayed on the force to better support his girls.
And Figoski relished the tough assignments. While other officers retire and work the ritzy suburbs, he wanted to make a difference.
Ironically, Pride would have been the kind of guy Figoski would have taken under his wing.
Even the people of East New York were shocked at Figoski’s death and angry at Pride’s alleged monstrosity.
That could be why relatives of Michael Velez, Pride’s alleged getaway driver, also on trial, left the courtroom with their hoods pulled over their heads, ashamed.
Defense lawyer Christopher Wright doesn’t have much of a shot. He was reduced to insisting that, while Pride may have pulled the trigger, he didn’t “intend” to kill anyone. Or whatever. Insane.
After their father died, the Figoski girls were invited by Harvey Weinstein and Steven Tisch to the Super Bowl. Corrine, then 14, and Caroline, who was 16, went with their mom.
Katy Perry kissed the girls at a pre-Oscar party in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, The Post raised more than a $1 million for the four girls’ educations.
But now that the dust has settled, their father is still gone. Gone, for no reason. There is no replacing him.
One man is charged with his murder, another for allegedly trying to help him escape. We might see justice for Officer Figoski.
But in a Brooklyn courtroom, four girls just want their dad back.
He was a fine officer. But he was a father first. And no guilty’ verdict will bring him back.
Rest in peace, Daddy. You were one of a kind.
Republished with permission of The New York Post