WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 -

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Mr. Speaker, recently, in one of New York's neighborhoods, gunshots rang out. One of NYPD's finest, Police Officer Kevin Brennan, quickly responded to the call. When he arrived at the scene with his partners, they recognized a familiar face. It was outlaw Latin Kings gang member Luis “Baby” Ortiz. Brennan gave the suspect a chance to turn himself over to the police by yelling, “Stop. Police,” but Ortiz took off running in the darkness of the night. The officers gave chase. Officer Brennan cornered Ortiz in a hallway, and rather than give up, Ortiz shot Officer Brennan, point blank, in the head. Ortiz was trying to flee the scene of the shooting so fast that he ran out of one of his shoes and left it at the crime scene.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Ortiz may have tried to fire off a second shot into Officer Brennan's head. Obviously, Ortiz has a total disrespect for human life.

When Police Officers Michael Burbridge and Christopher Mastoros arrived and found Officer Brennan, he was lying in a pool of his own blood, left to die. But Officer Brennan miraculously survived this attack.

The outlaw was captured. When “Baby” was brought to court, he made a mockery of the judicial system, waving at the cameras, asking them to take his photograph, while blowing kisses to his family. His family, too, showed disdain for the justice system and the police by yelling obscenities to the police and banging their hands and fists on a police cruiser that led Ortiz back to the jailhouse.

On Ortiz's second appearance in the court, the courtroom was packed with a sea of blue. NYPD had come to support their wounded fellow officer.

Disturbing, but not surprising, this would-be assassin has been arrested 14 times in his just 21 years of a lifetime of crime and lawless, worthless existence. His crimes have included drugs, assault, and armed robbery; yet he has walked free every time, beating the system.

One more detail worth noting. The weapon used to shoot Officer Brennan was the same one used in a New Year's Day murder in New York. Coincidence? Probably not.

Officer Brennan, a 6-year veteran of NYPD, is married and has a young baby daughter.

Mr. Speaker, in my other life, I was a prosecutor and a criminal court judge in Texas. I have been privileged to meet a lot of Texas peace officers and other officers in the United States. I've had the opportunity to meet many New York police officers when I go to New York to do presentations and training. After we get through the language barriers, I've found them to be a remarkable bunch of dedicated crime fighters.

Officer Brennan and thousands of his comrades throughout America wear the blue uniform of the law every day. They pin the shield and badge over their chest, over their heart, as a symbol of their duty to defend the people against outlaws like Ortiz. They are the last strand of wire in the fence between the fox and the chickens. They are all that separate the lawful citizens from the lawless bandits.

They go into dangerous areas of our city looking for drug dealers, child molesters, wife beaters, robbers, bandits and other street terrorists that would do the rest of us harm. They deserve our respect, our admiration, and our appreciation. We thank the Good Lord for people like Officer Brennan and the others of NYPD blue.

As for “Baby,” it's past time that “Baby” met the long arm of justice.

He's looking at doing 40 years behind bars in the “Do-Right” Hotel.

Our society cannot allow street trash like Ortiz to get away with their desire to wreak havoc in their neighborhoods and shoot peace officers. After all, Mr. Speaker, “We've got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds, too much corruption and crime in the streets. A man has to answer for the wicked things he's done because justice is the one thing you should always find.” May it be swift and harsh, because justice is what we do in this country.

And that's just the way it is.

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