Devorah Halberstam Receives FBI Award


fbi-awardThe FBI’s New York Division has selected Devorah Halberstam to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award at a ceremony in Washington, DC.On March 1, 1994, Devorah Halberstam’s 16-year-old son, Ari Halberstam, was murdered by Rashid Baz on the Brooklyn Bridge. Grief and fury over her beloved elder son’s murder transformed Ms. Halberstam into an activist against terrorism.

One of her first crusades, which took over six years to complete, was to have the investigation of her son’s murder classified as a terrorist incident by the Department of Justice and FBI.

Ms. Halberstam brought the first lawsuit in the history of American jurisprudence against the manufacturer of machine guns sold in gun kits. She advocated in New York state for the passing of Ari’s Law as part of a comprehensive gun-control bill, which prohibits interstate gun trafficking. Ari’s Law is pending in Congress, and wouldban the sale of gun kits.

With Governor George E. Pataki, Ms. Halberstam authored the first New York state laws to counter terrorism, which included the death penalty for the crimes of a terrorist. These were signed into law by Governor Pataki in 2001. She was appointed by the governor to serve on the first New York State Commission on Terrorism. Through Ms. Halberstam’s efforts, the New York City Council and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani passed a law renaming the ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge the Ari Halberstam Memorial Ramp.

Devorah Halberstam is a frequent speaker who has traveled across the country and around the world talking to the civic community and college students about her son’s murder.

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