NYPD Officer Michael Hance, who made headlines around the world in 2015 for his lighthearted fun at New York’s Pride Parade, had died at the age of 44 due to 9/11-related cancer.
A viral video of the officer dancing and “twerking” with reveler Aaron Santis showed the joy and power of Pride parades bringing people of different backgrounds together.
The video, posted below, isn’t the only thing the officer from the 111th Precinct in Bayside, Queens is remembered for. Hance was one of the many members of a “bucket brigade” in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Many in bucket brigades who transporting dangerous materials at the site for days on end have had their lives cut short due to a spike in cancer.
Hance also received an award for saving a an infant who chocked on a Lego.
“He always liked to help people,” his brother, Peter Hance, 45, told the Daily News. “He always liked to do good.”
Despite being straight himself, the officer earned plenty of praise for his impromptu performance at Pride. “I was as impressed as I was happy,” said Brian Downey, the president of the NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League said about the video. “He isn’t a member of GOAL or the LGBT community, but we were elated to see that video. It represented the true spirit of the police family. That’s what 99.5% of cops are like.” [NYPD]