Detectives' Endowment Association, Inc. — Paul DiGiacomo, President

The DEA Honor Roll

Official Line of Duty Deaths

Joseph D. Taylor

Joseph Taylor

Rank: Detective

Shield Number: 1821

Command: 83 Precinct

Date of Death: 08/29/1977

Cause of Death: Shot and killed during an investigation

The following is reprinted with permission from Spring 3100, September, 1977 –

Thirty-four-year-old Det. Joseph D. Taylor of the 83 Precinct was laid to rest on September 2nd, 1977, three days after being shot to death by a gunman in a Bushwick apartment building.

An inspector’s funeral attended by almost three thousand fellow officers, friends and family at the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Williamsburgh preceded burial at Pinelawn National Cemetery, Long Island. His funeral cortege was escorting by an honor guard of police motorcycles.

The events that led to Det. Taylor’s death began with an anonymous male caller’s report to a 911 telephone operator that there was a “man named Carlos who held up someone with a shotgun, next door.” The address given was 14 Linden St., apartment #4. Det. Taylor and P.O. Roy DeSetto were given the assignment by the communications dispatcher. Volunteering to back them up was another RMP team consisting of P.O.s Carl Colletti and Harry Sawick.

Reaching the scene first, Det. Taylor and his partner went to the apartment door and knocked, both drawing their service guns and taking positions at either side of the entrance. Taylor yelled, “Police, open up.” Suddenly, the door swung open and a man within fired a shotgun point-blank into the Detective’s chest, knocking him to the floor. DeSetto returned fire from both his own revolver and Taylor’s, wounding the fleeing gunman in the foot and killing one of his three associates.

Although wounded, the gunman and one of the men with him escaped through a window and fled to Gates Ave. where they hid in adjoining buildings. Both were arrested soon after back up units poured into the area. Officers also recovered the murder weapon and a .32 caliber revolver. The third companion of the gunman was discovered hiding inside the apartment on Linden St.

Despite efforts to save his life by P.O.s Colletti and Sawick, who arrived at the scene when the shooting occurred, and P.O.s John Abrahamson and Felipe DeJesus, who arrived moments later, Det. Taylor succumbed and was pronounced dead at Wyckoff Hospital.

Arrested for the homicide was 22-year-old Carl Dean (aka Carl Payne) who lived in the apartment where the shooting took place. His two companions were held as material witnesses. It was also revealed that on the day of the shooting, a bench warrant ordering the arrest of the suspect had been received by the Warrant Division. Dean was wanted for failing to appear in court to answer a charge of weapons possession.

Det. Taylor was survived by his wife, who passed away in 2011, and a daughter.

The following tribute to Det. Joseph D. Taylor was written by P.O. James Kenneally on behalf of the officers and staff of the 83 Pct. with whom he had served for eight years:

“Joe Taylor was a helpful, sensitive man who never hurt anyone. He remained dignified and stable despite his daily contact with depravity and chaos. Genuinely liked and respected by everyone in this command, he was a true gentleman with a sincerity and warmth that made it a pleasure to work with him. At 34, Joe was just starting to realize his potential when his future was taken in explosive seconds by the senseless act of a savage, incapable of understanding or appreciating the man he had no reason to destroy. This premeditated, but stupid act deprived us of a friend and comrade, and brings tears to our eyes when we dwell upon the enormity of this loss to those who shared Joe’s personal life.”

Joseph Taylor had joined the force on March 14, 1969 and had previously served in the United States military. In 1983, an NYPD Harbor Unit rescue launch, boat number 302, was named in honor of Det. Joseph Taylor. Every year since his death, his colleague reassemble at the 83rd Precinct to hold a memorial in his memory. On October 10, 2020, with the hard work of the 83 Precinct Community Council, the intersection at the corner of Knickerbocker Avenue and Menahan Street in Brooklyn, a block from the stationhouse, was renamed by the City of New York after Det. Joe Taylor.


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