The circumstances under which Cardillo was killed remain murky to this day. He was reportedly killed by his own gun after he and his partner rushed into a Harlem Mosque after receiving a false report of another officer in trouble. His death is the only unsolved police killing in he department's modern history.
Regardless of any outside circumstance – the report turned out to be fake – Cardillo was still heading into what he believed was danger. It was inside that nobody knows what happened, but the fact remains that Cardillo was killed in the line of duty. He was doing exactly what his superiors and the system in which he operates asked him to do.
At the time, in the messy aftermath, the suspects were released and nobody was brought to justice for the crime. But that justice in the form of incarceration could have been ephemeral and would have meant little to few.
Honoring Cardillo outside the new Police Academy in College Point creates a legacy. For the rest of time, new recruits will ask about Cardillo and be told of the sacrifice he made.
Then-mayor John Lindsay nor NYPD commissioner Patrick Murphy attended Cardillo’s funeral, but on Monday hundreds of New Yorkers, men and women in blue, and public officials including honored the life of Cardillo.
Legislation was introduced by Councilman Paul Vallone and was unanimously supported. This is something that was long overdue and good on the city officials for recognizing it and making an effort to make Cardillo a permanent part of New York City lore.