Thursday, September 29, 2022

Katrina Brownlee: Her Ex-fiancé (A Cop) Nearly Killed Her – So She Became One | WATCH

Katrina Cooke Brownlee (via CBS News)
Katrina Cooke Brownlee (via CBS News)

*Katrina Cooke Brownlee retired last year as one of the New York City Police Department’s top-ranked detectives. That she is alive is a miracle. In her first primetime television interview, Brownlee shares her emotional story of being shot by an abusive ex-fiancé, then pleading for help from the police, who she says ignored her, and how she used that experience to become a top police officer, in 48 HOURS: “Katrina Brownlee: The Good Cop” to be broadcast Saturday, Feb. 26 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) and streaming on Paramount+.

Anchored by Michelle Miller, co-host of CBS SATURDAY MORNING, “Katrina Brownlee: The Good Cop” takes viewers inside Brownlee’s inspirational journey from survivor of a horrific attack to top-ranked detective in the NYPD. Brownlee opens up about the abuse she says she suffered, how she met the so-called blue wall of silence, how she fought to live, and how she vowed to be a good cop.

“My story starts from a very dark place, and it becomes a story of grace, a story of love and a story of hope,” says Brownlee.

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When she was 22, Brownlee lived with her then-fiancé, Alex Irvin, who was a New York City correction officer. She says that every time she called the police after he abused her, they would leave without taking action.

“Every time he flashed that badge, they would walk away,” she said.

Then, on a January morning in 1993, Brownlee met Irvin at his home. Irvin, she says, had a weird look on his face. “He pointed a gun to me and said, ‘This is the day you die, bitch,’ and he shot me in my stomach. And then he shot me again.”

He shot her five times, reloaded his gun, and shot five more times. A family friend of Irvin’s who happened to stop by saw Brownlee bleeding and insisted on taking her to the hospital.

Investigators initially thought Brownlee would die. She survived. It would take months, but she says she learned how to walk again. During that time Brownlee also vowed to change the system that let her down and become a police officer.

“I wanted to become a good cop,” she tells Miller.

“There’s a difference?” Miller asks.

“Yeah,” Brownlee says. “A good cop has empathy, a good cop cares about people that they have to protect and have to serve.”

Katrina Cook Brownlee (screenshot)
Katrina Cook Brownlee (screenshot)

Brownlee became a top-ranked detective and one of the few Black women in the NYPD chosen to protect a New York City mayor. Indeed, she even kept her history of being abused from thenMayor Bill de Blasio until their last meeting together.

“How does the Katrina sitting here today differ from that 22-year-old Katrina?” Miller asks.

“Oh, wow,” Brownlee says. “The 22-year-old Katrina was lost, broken … forgotten. … And now today, I feel like I am a beautiful Black queen that fought the fight.”

This hour is part of CBS News and Stations’ ongoing reporting for Black History Month.

48 HOURS: “Katrina Brownlee: The Good Cop” is produced by Liza Finley and Lauren A. White. Diana Modica, Doreen Schechter, Marcus Balsam, Joan Adelman and Michelle Harris are the editors. Morgan Canty is the associate producer. Peter Schweitzer and Nancy Kramer are the senior producers. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.

48 HOURS is broadcast Saturdays at 10:00 PM ET/PT, on CBS, and streams anytime on Paramount+. There’s also a new way to watch 48 HOURS. You’ll find us on the CBS News Streaming Network Wednesdays at 8:00 PM, ET. Download the CBS News app on your phone or connected TV. Follow 48 HOURS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Listen to podcasts at CBSAudio.

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