NYPD police officer Sumit Sulan gets the nation’s highest award for bravery by a public safety officer
Sumit Sulan, an Indian American New York Police Department (NYPD) officer has been honoured by President Joe Biden with the Medal of Valor, the nation’s highest award for bravery by a public safety officer.
Biden presented the medal to Sulan, then still a rookie at a White House ceremony along with two of his fallen colleagues Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora who had responded to a domestic violence call in Harlem, New York City, on January 21, 2022.
Read: Heroic Indian American New York cop Sumit Sulan hailed (March 3, 2022)
“A very dark day for the city of New York could have been more — even more tragic, with a much higher body count, if it weren’t for Detective Sulan,” said Biden said at the presentation ceremony.
The three police officers “put themselves in the line of fire to protect a mother and son from an armed man threatening violence in their home,” according to the citation.
Rivera and Mora, who were honored posthumously, “positioned themselves between the assailant and the other occupants of the house. They were ambushed, shot multiple times, and died from their injuries.”
“Detective Sulan ensured the safety of the civilians on the scene and struck down the gunman with his service weapon, bringing an end to the deadly episode just 45 seconds after it had begun.”
“Together, the officers’ poise and valor saved lives, and Detectives Rivera and Mora’s sacrifice will never be forgotten,” said Biden.
“Here, one day in January, in Harlem, they responded to a 911 call from a distressed woman. Her grown-up son was threatening her and his brother. When they arrived at the apartment, Detective Mora and Rivera walked down the hallway in the back room to check on the man.
“Detective Sulan, then still a rookie, was assigned to observe his more experienced colleagues, stayed back with the mom and the other son. Suddenly, the door flew open.
“The man started firing from the back room. He had a stolen Glock, illegally modified with a drum magazine capable of holding 40 rounds. Detective Rivera and Mora were hit.
“Detective Rivera died a few hours later at age 22, one of the youngest officers ever killed on the line of duty. Detective Mora died four days later, just 27 years old,” Biden said. “They are the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ law enforcement of this country should be.”
“That terrible day, when the bullets started flying, Detective Sulan had only been then — with the precinct — the 32nd Precinct for two months,” Biden recalled. “Two months. But he jumped into action. He shielded the mother and brother from gunfire, then drew his weapon to fire twice, hitting the gunman and ending the incident.”
“A very dark day for the city of New York could have been more — even more tragic, with a much higher body count, if it weren’t for Detective Sulan,” said the President.
Biden said he “met the detective shortly after that, and I knew his relatives were going to be around. And he relives that day often. “Detective Mora and Rivera are never far from his mind. And the entire nation is grateful for the quick thinking, swift action, and courage under fire that he demonstrated,” he said of Sulan.
Sulan, who was promoted as a Detective after the incident, was dubbed as “super rookie” for his act of heroism.
Two days after the ambush, Sulan’s mother told The New York Post that her son was still struggling to deal with what happened.
“His brain is stuck on the situation,” Sulan’s mother, who emigrated from India about 15 years ago, said.