WHITE PLAINS – An off-duty Mount Vernon Police officer, who was shot and killed in White Plains in a case of mistaken identity 11 years ago, was honored on Saturday at the site of his death as a memorial was unveiled.
Family, friends and county officials attended the ceremony honoring Det. Christopher Ridley, who was 23 at the time of his death.
The officer, who had been on the job for one year, saw a fight between two homeless men on January 25, 2008 and when he went over to break it up, was shot and killed by responding officers.
County Legislator Lyndon Williams told Ridley’s parents during the ceremony that their son was a hero.
“This is a great moment for Westchester because it is standing up and recognizing the contributions of Chris,” said Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson, senior pastor of the Historic Grace Baptist Church. “We are here today not because Christopher was shot, not because he died, but because he lived.”
Stanley Ridley, father of the late officer, said, “Christopher’s memory is one of the many great contributions that will come out of Mount Vernon’s community. He may no longer be ours, but now his memory belongs to this world.”
His mother, Felitia Rucker Bouche, said, “I hope this monument can teach others that when you do something; do it unconditionally. Today we are here to honor my son, a brother and a fallen officer who did his job fearlessly and unconditionally.”