WHITE PLAINS — Over a hundred people gathered at 85 Court St in White Plains, Saturday to take part in the unveiling of a memorial honoring Mount Vernon Detective Christopher A. Ridley, who was killed by responding Westchester County Police Officers – a decade ago – while preventing a civilian from being brutally assaulted.
If Christopher Ridley who was off duty simply walked away, the person who was being brutally assaulted would have probably been murdered or seriously injured, but he may be alive today. This memorial matters because it celebrates the selfless sacrifice of a hero cop.
This memorial is also historic in nature, as it will be the first memorial erected in the country of an African-American Police Officer who was shot by his counterpart. Never has this been done anywhere in the United States.
Stan Ridley – father of Det. Christopher Ridley said he hopes the memorial will serve as part of a dialogue. “There needs to be a message kept for us to dwell on, but you can’t dwell on it if you don’t know the story,” he said.
County Legislator Lyndon Williams who represents the 13th Legislative District (Mount Vernon) has championed the memorial since the beginning calling Det. Ridley as a hero, on the People Before Politics Show, the night before the Westchester County Board of Legislators voted to fund the memorial last July.
The Westchester County lawmakers voted 16-0 to approve funding for the memorial to Christopher Ridley – a 23-year-old rookie officer – who was killed Jan. 25, 2008 after he intervened in a scuffle between two other men. He was in plainclothes when he was shot dead by county police who arrived as Ridley held a gun and tried to detain another man.
“Today, we unveiled the monument to Detective Christoper A. Ridley, a 23-year-old police officer whose ultimate sacrifice symbolizes the courage and heroic efforts to “protect and serve”. I’m proud to have championed this project to build a suitable permanent memorial in Christopher’s honor and fulfill the promise to his parents at “Christoper Ridley Plaza” where Chris lost his life,” Legislator Williams shared. “His father Stanley Ridley uses the pain of his loss to promote peace and unity. And I am proud of County Executive George Latimer and Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins and the administration. The Board of Legislators unanimously dedicated Christopher Ridley Plaza on January 2009. Less than 2 years in office, the Latimer administration fulfilled this promise to Christopher’s family that had been deferred for the last 10 years.”
Mayor Andre Wallace who is pictured above with Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Sean Harris told Black Westchester this is a proud moment for Mount Vernon.
“Today, we were proud to join the Christopher Ridley Foundation, Stanley Ridley, Legislator Lyndon Williams, Councilwoman Janice Duarte, the MVPD, and more members of our MV family in unveiling a monument for MVPD Detective Christopher A. Ridley.”
Mount Vernon Detective Christopher Ridley is the embodiment of a hero cop who took serious his sworn oath to Protect and Serve, not just in the community he worked but 24/7, even off-duty.
Black Westchester once again salutes Det. Christopher Ridley and as this new monument will keep his legacy alive and remind the public that there are people willing to make sacrifices for others.