Hajrie Demushi reports in King County Politics:
On a cold Saturday night in February 1941, New York City Police Department Officer Leon Fox was on his Coney Island beat, when as part of his routine, he escorted the manager of a Coney Island Movie Theater to the bank with the daily receipts.
En route, three thugs stopped him and asked for a match. When Fox reached into his pocket for a light, at least one of the perps opened fire pumping eight rounds into Fox and began walking away. Fox, though gravely wounded, managed to draw his weapon and fire a few rounds at the suspects before collapsing. Shortly afterward, he was rushed and pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital.
And so it went for Leon Fox, one of the first Jewish NYPD cops gunned down in the line of duty. And yesterday the southeast corner of West 12th Street and Surf Avenue, where he lost his life was co-named in his honor.
“When a cop goes out on duty, he or she is not just a cop. They play multiple roles. They can act as an EMT. Officers save people drowning in the ocean. They are brave fighters, they are genuine and they are ambitious, dedicated souls. And that’s exactly what Officer Leon Fox was,” said City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood) at the street sign unveiling.
According to Fox’s family, he went to work every day with a smile on his face and was proud to wear the uniform which for Fox did not mean only power and authority, it meant an exceptional care, dedication, passion, obligation, and unbreakable commitment to protect the people to whom he felt connected. And these people needed to feel free and secure, just what this beautiful country America, is all about, family members said.
According to his son Gerald Fox, who was only seven years old at the time when his father was killed, his mother remarried again after Leon Fox death. However, when he went to visit his mother in the facility care just seconds before she was departing from this life, she said, “Leon Fox was the only true love, caring man I have had in my life.”
Police Officer Albert Mammon recited Kaddish at the event which was attended by NYPD Clergy Liason David Heskiel, Lubavitch Youth Organization Director Rabbi Shmuel Butman, JCC of Greater Coney head Rabbi Moshe Wiener and others.