Slain NYPD cop’s daughter in five-year battle for mom’s pension

The daughter of a slain NYPD cop who was left to lift her youthful siblings has been caught in authorized hell for 5 years over entry to her mother’s pension — and time is working out.

Genesis Villella was pressured to step in as major caregiver when her mother Miosotis Familia was killed execution-style whereas working in the Bronx in 2017.

And a little-known authorized loophole has solely exacerbated her grief. Children of single-parent cops who die in the road of responsibility aren’t entitled to their mother and father’ pension for life — in contrast to spouses and fogeys of slain cops.

“Since I’m raising my brother and sister, my mother’s dependents, as their mother — and I will be their mother for the rest of their life — I think we should get the pension for life the same way every other family of a police officer who is killed in the line of duty,” Villella, now 25, advised The Post final week.

Twins Peter and Delilah Vega, 17, can solely accumulate their mother’s pension till age 23 — and below strict caveats. But even now, they need to soar by means of authorized hurdles in order to get the profit, a course of that Villella known as “torture” and includes having to first search approval from the Bronx Surrogate’s Court.

Familia was shot and killed in a police car by gunman Alexander Bonds on July 5, 2017 in the Bronx.
Familia was shot and killed in a police automotive by gunman Alexander Bonds on July 5, 2017 in the Bronx.

“Besides the daily grief of losing my best friend, my hero, I also have to worry if we will have money to pay the bills in a few years,” Villella stated by means of tears.

“The financial grief is an added stress. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in five years.”

Familia, a 12-year NYPD veteran, was sitting in a police automotive on July 5, 2017, when a deranged gunman got here out of nowhere, walked as much as the automotive and shot the unsuspecting cop in the pinnacle on East 183rd Street close to Morris Avenue.

The killer, Alexander Bonds, was ultimately gunned down by police.

Familia, 48, who was posthumously promoted to detective, had no beneficiaries for her pension advantages — and solely three dependents, her then-20-year-old daughter and her twin youngsters, who had been solely 12 on the time.

Villella was pressured to stop college to make ends meet and lift her youthful siblings — whereas studying navigate the courtroom course of to get her mother’s pension.

“It took me four years to finally get my mother’s check deposited directly,” Villella stated. “Previously, I needed to take the test to the courtroom the place it was Xeroxed, after which I needed to deposit it right into a financial institution that the decide picked.

Villella was forced to become the primary caretaker for her twin siblings Peter and Delilah, who were 12 years old at the time of their mother's death.
Villella was pressured to change into the first caretaker for her twin siblings Peter and Delilah, who had been 12 years outdated on the time of their mom’s demise.
Matthew McDermott

“Originally, the bank opened up a [certificate of deposit] instead of a savings account,” she added. “The bank had to correct the mistake. Also, every time, I had to go to the court where … my mother worked as a cop, and also two miles from where she was heinously executed.”

Villella herself was minimize off from the pension in 2020, when she turned 23. Under the present regulation, youngsters can undergo the prolonged courtroom course of till they attain 18, then they’re eligible till they flip 23, however provided that they meet standards that embody being enrolled in college.

That means Peter and Delilah have simply over 5 years till they’re minimize off.

Villella was cut of from her mother's pension in 2020 when she turned 23. Her 17-year-old siblings have about five years left until they are ineligible.
Villella was minimize off from her mom’s pension in 2020 when she turned 23. Her 17-year-old siblings have about 5 years left till they’re ineligible.
John Roca

“When our single officers give their life in the line of duty, the least we can do as a city is make sure their children are taken care of in a way they are accustomed to, if not better,” Kathy Vigiano, president of the nonprofit Survivors of the Shield, advised The Post.

Founded in 1988, the group gives advantages and assist to households of slain NYPD cops.

“There shouldn’t be a cutoff at age 23,” Vigiano stated. “These children are damaged. It might take a couple of extra years to complete faculty or a commerce college. We ought to make life simpler for these youngsters, not tougher.

“A parent is there to help support their child in every step in their life, right into adulthood. These children have lost that.”

Familia's casket being carried out of her funeral at the World Changers Church in the Bronx in 2017.
Familia’s casket being carried out of her funeral on the World Changers Church in the Bronx in 2017.
G.N.Miller/NY Post

Efforts have been made over time to attempt to assist Familia’s orphaned youngsters, together with by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which gifted them an condominium in Riverdale, ABC reported.

Some lawmakers in Albany additionally tried to step up — in useless.

Just three weeks after Familia’s demise, Queens state Sen. Jose Peralta submitted a bill that proposed paying the cop’s youngsters as much as $1,000 a month for as much as 10 years.

Peralta, nevertheless, died the next year and the laws by no means moved ahead.

Last month, Brooklyn state Assemblyman Peter Abbate launched a brand new invoice that proposed reinstating Villella’s advantages till her youthful siblings change into ineligible.

Villella said the
Villella stated the “city should in turn take care of her children” after her mom was killed in the road of responsibility.
Matthew McDermott

The invoice was launched late in the legislative session and did not garner a required senate sponsor.

“The final straw was no senate sponsor,” Abbate stated final week. “It’s taking forever these days to get fiscal notes out of the city.”

While grateful, Villella stated the invoice would solely present a Band-Aid on an unhealed wound.

“It doesn’t address that I am the parent taking care of my mother’s dependents as if they were my own children,” she stated. “They weren’t hearing me.”

She stated she wished town would step up like her mom did.

“Besides being a loving mother, she was also a loyal, faithful civil servant who gave her life protecting the city,” she stated of her mother. “The city should in turn take care of her children.”

Additional reporting by Zach Williams and Craig McCarthy

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