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Murphy, police chief who urged restraint, dies

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 12:29 p.m. MDT

FILE - This May 22, 1972 file photo shows New York City Police Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy at a news conference in New York. Murphy, who was born in Brooklyn and became a police patrolman after serving as a Navy pilot in World War II, has died of a heart attack at a hospital in Wilmington, N.C., at age 91.  (Jim Wells, File, Associated Press) FILE - This May 22, 1972 file photo shows New York City Police Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy at a news conference in New York. Murphy, who was born in Brooklyn and became a police patrolman after serving as a Navy pilot in World War II, has died of a heart attack at a hospital in Wilmington, N.C., at age 91. (Jim Wells, File, Associated Press)

NEW YORK — Former New York Police Commissioner Patrick Murphy is being remembered as the embodiment of police reform after his death at age 91.

Gerard Murphy says his father died of a heart attack Friday at a hospital in Wilmington, N.C.

Murphy was chief of police in Detroit, Washington and Syracuse, N.Y., as well as the nation's largest city during the turbulent '60s and '70s.

In 1968, he ordered police to use restraint in controlling riots in Washington after the killing of Martin Luther King Jr. In New York in 1972, he instituted rules restricting the use of deadly force to situations in which police needed to defend a life.

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