29 Jan DiCaprio's production company making film about NYPD lieutenant slain in Italy
"It goes against the stereotype that's always portrayed of them being criminals and Mafia members."
An immigrant from Palermo, Petrosino arrived in New York in 1874 and found work at the Sanitation Department, which was run by the NYPD at the time.
The ambitious Petrosino, after being selected to join the police department, quickly made a name for himself by infiltrating the infamous Black Hand gang.
The band of hoodlums, a precursor to the mob, preyed on Italian Americans with extortions, kidnappings and bombings.
Petrosino left for Italy in 1909 on a secret mission to gather intelligence on Black Hand members operating in the Big Apple.
Reporters had found out about the trip and published his plans, but Petrosino insisted on following through on the mission.
He was killed in an ambush outside a Palermo cafe on March 12 after being set up by an alleged informant.
The shocking slaying remained unsolved until 2014 when Italian cops arrested 95 suspected Mafia members, including a 29-year-old man who was heard on a wiretap bragging that his uncle, Paolo Palazzotto, killed Petrosino.
"The people who hated him in Italy assassinated him," his grandnephew said. "The Mafia assassinated him."
The film is being adapted from author Stephan Talty's book about Petrosino, "The Black Hand."
"He's a legend amongst all police officers and certainly a hero in the NYPD," Robert Fonti, co-chair of the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers, said of Petrosino.
Source: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS - https://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/dicaprio-company-making-film-nypd-slain-mafia-probe-article-1.3160512