NEW YORK (PIX11) – An Instagram photo of a NYPD transit officer with a photo of Avonte Oquendo inside his hat has become a possibly unintentional tribute on social media after the boy’s death was confirmed by the Medical Examiner.
Harlem resident Pilar Endara, 38, was on a D train headed to work around 7:30 a.m. when she saw the officer leaning against the door and noticed the photo inside his hat.
“I was staring at the police officer and was actually thinking about how mean he looked, he was not cracking a smile and was staring into space,” Endara said. “I then looked down and when I saw the photo of Avonte taped in his hat my heart melted.”
It is not uncommon for a transit officer to keep a picture in his hat, sometimes along with a copy of the Miranda rights. One person even mentioned that in the comments, but, for many, the photo simply spoke for itself.
“He is a man who sees and hears about so many tragedies who probably has children of his own or knows kids just like Avonte,” Endara remembered thinking after she snapped the picture. “It was truly heartbreaking, and, at the same time, heartwarming.”