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Jamaica police officer shot to death

By Betsy Scheinbart

A sergeant from the 113th Precinct was shot to death last Thursday and her neighbor, a police detective, was arrested after an alleged dispute, police said.

Sgt. Gwendulina Brodie, 34, of Central Islip, L.I. was the mother of 8-year-old Olivia. She was not married and lived with her boyfriend, her colleagues at the precinct said.

Brodie grew up in South Jamaica, attended Andrew Jackson High School, which is now Campus Magnet, and returned to the area six months ago to work in the 113th Precinct.

The precinct covers South Jamaica, Rochdale Village and part of Springfield Gardens.

Detective Ezra Leslie, 44, who was assigned to the Queens Narcotics Division and lived on the same block as Brodie, was arrested and suspended from the Police Department after the shooting, police said. Leslie and Brodie joined the NYPD on the same day, June 4, 1991, they said.

Police did not say whether Leslie had been charged in Brodie’s death.

A dispute between the two off-duty officers took place at 7:25 p.m. inside Leslie’s house, police said. According to published reports, the argument concerned a romantic relationship between Leslie and Brodie’s sister.

The dispute escalated and shots were fired, striking Brodie, police said.

Brodie was taken to Southside Hospital in Bayshore, L.I. in critical condition, police said. She died at 9:36 p.m.

Her driver on the 113th Precinct’s day shift, Officer Alan Lam, said he was shocked when he first heard about Brodie’s death, particularly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in which so many fellow officers died.

“She was fair, she cared for her people,” Lam said. “I liked her a lot and so did everybody else.”

While they were driving together on the job, Lam said Brodie often spoke about her family.

“She loved her daughter,” Lam said. “Olivia was her world.”

Brodie was focused on getting her job done, but also took time to look after the community.

“She wanted to help everybody,” he said, “she wanted to help the community a lot.”

The day before she died, Lam said Brodie found out that part-time jobs were available cleaning up Lower Manhattan and thought some of the youth in the area covered by the 113th Precinct might be interested in the work.

When she saw young people loitering in the neighborhood that day, she would stop to talk to them, Lam said.

“She would tell them, ‘why don’t you do something productive,’” and inform them of the jobs available, Lam said.

A wake for Brodie will be held at Allen A.M.E. Church at 111-31 Merrick Blvd. Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. She will be buried in Farmingdale, L.I. Saturday.

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300 Ext. 138.

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