Hundreds of motorcycle-riding cops converged on the 28th Precinct in Harlem yesterday to honor the NYPD’s Phillip Cardillo, gunned down forty years ago. Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch gave an emotional speech. “Bring those to justice who did this,” he declared. There is “still work to do.”
Meanwhile, the Daily News published my new revelations in the case:
“Was a Cop Killer an FBI Informant?”
Forty years ago this weekend, Police Office Phillip Cardillo was gunned down in Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam Mosque No. 7 in Harlem. No one was ever convicted in the case. To the police rank and file, it is the greatest scandal in NYPD history — a story of murder, betrayal and coverup.
On April 14, 1972, Cardillo and three other patrolmen were lured into an apparent ambush in Mosque No. 7 by a fake “officer in distress” call. In the ensuing melee, all four officers were badly beaten and Cardillo was shot. Top NYPD brass quickly ordered a full retreat from the mosque.
The result: no crime scene, no physical evidence, no witnesses.
Cardillo died six days later. Neither the mayor nor the police commissioner attended the funeral. Beat cops regarded it as the ultimate betrayal.
In 1976, a member of Mosque No. 7, Lewis 17X Dupree, went to trial for Cardillo’s murder. He was acquitted. Prosecutors were hampered by the lack of physical evidence and witnesses.
But was that the whole story? According to three investigators who have never given up on the case, as well as documents I obtained, there is some evidence suggesting that Dupree was working for the FBI.
Was the alleged murderer of a New York City police officer an FBI informant?
Did the FBI withhold information from prosecutors to protect their informant?