The State Senate honored on Tuesday a police officer who was killed in Brooklyn last March after he responded to a domestic violence call. In the wake of his death, a bill toughening penalties for domestic abusers is now up for consideration. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Paul and May Schaberger, the parents of slain Police Officer Alain Schaberger, were on the floor of the State Senate for the reading of the resolution honoring their son on Tuesday.
On March 13, 2011, Officer Schaberger responded to a domestic violence call in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. He was allegedly pushed off the stoop by the abuser, who has since been charged with aggravated murder.
"This individual who was involved in my son's death had multiple arrests and several convictions as well and was still out on the street," said Paul Schaberger. "And there are hundreds of these, probably thousands of these in a given year in New York City that could result in a death like it did with my son."
State Senator Daniel Squadron, who represents the district where Officer Schaberger was killed, has sponsored a bill cracking down on serial abusers.
"Well, it's sort of a shocking thing but there is nothing defined as domestic violence in the penal law now in this way," said Squadron. "So they have all these misdemeanors but they don't really add up to 'this person is a domestic violence offender."
Specifically, the bill creates a felony-level charge for those repeatedly convicted of domestic violence offenses.
The bill is named for Officer Schaberger, and while that has brought some catharsis for his family members, they will never get over the loss.
"Every day is... I struggle to feel better, but I don't know when that will come," said May Schaberger. "But I wouldn't wish that happen to anybody. When you lost your child, you lost half of your soul."
"The thing is, anybody can go through this terrible loss. They can lose a child, which is nothing that I can explain, but the pain is incredible," said Paul Schaberger. "We've lost a child, but we get all this support."
The bill was referred to the Senate Codes Committee. NY1 reached out to its chairman, Steve Saland, to see if a hearing would scheduled but did not hear back on Tuesday.
Brooklyn Republican Senator Martin Golden, a co-sponsor, told NY1 he will work to get the bill passed.