Row after row of correction officers stood at attention in South Richmond Hill Sunday as the community honored on of its own with a street co-naming ceremony on the corner of 111th Street and 107th Avenue which is now known as Correction Officer Jonathan Narain Way.
On Sept. 14, 2018, the off-duty officer was shot and killed in a road rage incident on his way to work at Rikers Island. Narain was 27 years old.
“Correction Officer Jonathan Narain, like first responders and our soldiers, served quietly and behind the scenes,” City Councilwoman Adrienne Adams said. “The act of willingly going to work every day to protect the safety of others is an act of heroism. There are not enough words to honor Jonathan’s life. People who never had the good fortune of meeting Jonathan Narain will learn all about his life and what he stood for.”
Family and friends remembered Narain as more than just a dedicated officer but also an active member of the community. The Richmond Hill High School graduate was called a cornerstone in his family and a neighborhood that was once again touched by gun violence.
“Jonathan Narain devoted his career to public service and promoting public safety, so it is especially tragic that we have lost such a great man due to a senseless act of gun violence,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “It is therefore most fitting that we honor Jonathan through this street co-naming. From this day forward people traveling through this intersection will see Jonathan’s name and hopefully take time to reflect on his devotion to our city.”
Two days after the shooting, Gifford Hunter, 30, of St. Albans was arrested and charged with Narain’s murder. Dozens of correction officers packed the courtroom during the arraignment in a show of support for their fallen comrade.
“The Narain family would like to extend an invitation to all family, friends, co-workers and members of the community who shared memories of Jonathan Narain’s unforgettable life,” his brother Jason said. “We share his everlasting memory in the afterlife by co-naming 11th Street where he was born, raised and lived.”
Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann said his death left a void in the hearts and minds of the Narain and DOC families.
“Co-naming this street corner Correction Officer Jonathan Narain Way ensures that our fallen brother will never be forgotten.”
City Councilman I. Daneek Miller spoke of Narain’s noble spirit and Assemblyman David Weprin remembered his legacy of dedication and integrity.
“Law enforcement officers pledge to serve the public good and put their lives on a daily basis,” Assemblywoman Michele Titus said. “Heroes like Correction Officer Jonathan Narain must never be forgotten, and co-naming the Southeast corner of 111th Street and 107th Avenue is a fitting tribute that will help ensure that he is always remembered by the community