MALVERNE, NY, U.S.A.
01/10/2017, MANHASSET, NY
Detective Steven McDonald of the New York City Police Department died January 10, 2017. He was shot in the line of duty in 1986 and paralyzed from the neck down. Steven McDonald spent the next 20 years endeavoring to teach the curative power of forgiveness and reconciliation.
The birth of a son… “was like a message from God that I should live, and live differently. And it was clear to me that I had to respond to that message. I prayed that I would be changed, that the person I was would be replaced by something new. That prayer was answered with a desire to forgive the young man who shot me.
“I forgave Shavod Jones because I believe the only thing worse than receiving a bullet in my spine would have been to nurture revenge in my heart. Such an attitude would have extended my injury to my soul, hurting my wife, son, and others even more. It’s bad enough that the physical effects are permanent, but at least I can choose to prevent spiritual injury. I’ve never regretted forgiving him.”
Steven McDonald worked with Breaking the Cycle a program that takes the message to schools and communities about non violent conflict resolution through forgiveness. He spoke in New York City schools and traveled to Northern Ireland to talk about forgiveness and reconciliation with Father Mychal Judge, and author Johann Christoph Arnold.
Detective McDonald’s son, Conor, a sergeant with the New York Police Department represents the fourth generation of the family to serve the people of New York.
“No one could have predicted that Steven would touch so many people, in New York and around the world,” Police Commissioner O’Neill said. “Like so many cops, Steven joined the N.Y.P.D. to make a difference in people’s lives. And he accomplished that every day.”