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NEW YORK’S FINEST is the story of a city’s transformation through the tireless efforts of Detective Steven McDonald, Nurse Justiniano, Jack Maple, and a host of hero cops-including the great niece of Jazz Age great Josephine Baker-the finest of The Finest.

The son and grandson of cops, Officer McDonald was shot and paralyzed from the neck down while on patrol in 1986. The doctors said that if he did survive, he would be better off dead. It was then he came under the care of one Nurse Nina Justiniano. Where the teenage gunman was produced by the worst of Harlem’s social ills, she personified its many graces, rescuing Steven from despair and urging him to transcend hate and bitterness.

McDonald was then promoted to detective at the urging of NYPD Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple, a postal worker’s son who sported a bow tie, Homburg hat, and two-tone shoes as he implemented transformative crime-fighting strategies to deter violent subway robberies. Coming up in the force, Maple had been routinely mocked for imagining the impossible: that Times Square would one day be a destination for families and tourists.

Now, resentments and tensions are mounting in the same neighborhoods that most benefited from the careful consideration of officers like McDonald and Maple. But as NEW YORK’S FINEST illustrates, their legacies, and those of people like Nurse Justiniano, may well rescue New York City from its present state of unrest and struggle in the wake of protests and the pandemic.