Funeral Held for NYPD Detective Troy Patterson After 33 Years in Coma

A funeral service was held in New York on Friday, May 5, for Troy Patterson, a New York Police Department (NYPD) detective who was shot while off-duty and spent the last 33 years in a coma.

Footage posted by the NYPD shows the service in the Historic First Church of God in Christ in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights on Friday afternoon.

Guests at the service included New York Mayor Eric Adams, who delivered remarks before Patterson was brought to Long Island’s Pinelawn Cemetery for burial.

“He was an active police officer that was not going through the motion of just being a member of the law enforcement community. He was conducting the job every day. He believed in policing,” Adams said, who reminisced about New York in the 1990s.

“Do you remember what these streets were like? These streets were filled with crack cocaine. It was filled with violence. It was filled with a total disregard of public safety. It was filled with people waking up to gunshots and not alarm clocks,” Adams continued.

“But men like Troy stayed. They didn’t flee. They remained in the community and stated that they were not going to surrender our community to those that wanted to bring about terror and violence.”

On January 16, 1990, Patterson, then 27, was shot once in the head while washing his car near his apartment in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, leaving him in a vegetative state for decades.

Two teens and an adult – Tracy Clark, 15, Darren Crawford, 17, and Vincent Robbins, 20 – were charged with attempted robbery and other crimes after the shooting. Credit: NYPD via Storyful

Video transcript

- We're here to celebrate the life of detective Troy Dante Patterson I. Come on and put those hands together.


You might be wondering why you're here. I want you to know you're not here because he transitioned. You're here because he lived. He lived. Come on and put those hands together.



Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

ERIC ADAMS: Thank you, reverend. And to Troy, and his Aunt May, and to all of you-- and I didn't see him, but I know he's here, Detective Cliff Hollingsworth. Brother Cliff, for 33 years, Cliff held a memorial at the site where our brother Troy was shot.

And we used to go up each year to Jersey and sit with Troy and his family. And I remember Troy, Jr., when he was just a little child, and I'm watching, I see he'd be in a room with this dad and how painful it was to watch the dad that he knew so well, so energetic.

And it may be lost on some of you, but if you look at the posters, you really will understand, he was a good looking brother.


Let's not get it mixed up. 33 years-- all of us would sit in our cars privately and just uncontrollably cry while we watched such an energetic, joyful, good man live his life in that manner. And we thought about Troy, Jr. and what he was going through-- never missing a moment to come up in those 33 years.

And how Cliff Hollingsworth, a former detective, just made it clear that we would never forget Troy. We always make sure year after year we will continue to show our support and love for him. But men like Troy stayed. They didn't flee.

They remained in the community and stated that they were not going to surrender our community to those that wanted to bring about terror and violence. And the only way we can really understand the impact that even when a bullet hits a body, it does not stop this pathway of devastation and destruction, it continues to rip apart the anatomy of our community. We should reflect on this moment every time we put on a uniform or if we commit our lives to going after those who prey on innocent people.

When it leaves the headlines of the papers, it remains in the headlines of the Troy, Jr.s of our city. They feel the pain for generations to come.

- I really believe that a person preaches their own life by the way they live. When people get up and try to preach a person's life, you can't preach their life. They live that life.

And he lived it well. And there's a little song that has come to me that I love to sing.


I love you. I love you, because you cared for me.