Newspaper chain Gannett has apologized for running a Florida man’s scathing obituary of his former NYPD cop father that trashed him as an abusive alcoholic.

Lawrence Pfaff Jr., of Jacksonville, eviscerated his deceased dad in a July 2 piece in the Florida Times-Union as a neglectful lout who left his kids “broken.”

Pfaff wrote that his father was a 20-year NYPD vet whose “hobbies included abusing his first wife and children.”

“From a young age, he was a ladies’ man and an abusive alcoholic, solidifying his commitment to both with the path of destruction he left behind, damaging his adult children, and leaving them broken,” Pfaff wrote in the startling obituary.

The Gannett Company, which owns the Jacksonville-based publication, said the piece should have been flagged as inappropriate prior to publication.

“We regrettably published an obituary that did not adhere to our guidelines and we are looking into the matter further,” the company told First Coast News. “We regret any distress this may have caused.”

Lawrence Pfaff Jr. pulled no punches while describing his father’s legacy in a scorning obituary.
Lawrence Pfaff Jr. pulled no punches while describing his father’s legacy in an obituary.
First Coast News

The scorned son touched on his father’s time as a New York City cop in the obituary.

“Lawrence, Sr. did spend over 20 years in the NYPD, but even his time in service was negligent at best,” he wrote. “Because of his alcohol addiction, his Commanding Officer took away his gun and badge, replacing them with a broom until he could get his act together.”

Pfaff Jr. told First Coast News that his pained prose was an exercise in cathartic healing — and that he wrote it prior to his death as a coping mechanism.

Lawrence Pfaff Jr. stated his father was so alcoholic, his commanding NYPD officer yanked his badge and gun.
Lawrence Pfaff Jr. stated his father was so alcoholic, his commanding NYPD officer yanked his badge and gun.
First Coast News

“Writing his obituary was a way for me to really cleanse myself and let that part of my life go,” he said. “And so a year ago, I sat down and began to write it, not knowing I would have an opportunity in the near future to use it.”

His father’s passing at 81, he wrote in the piece, would allow his kids to begin their recovery in earnest.

“He was incapable of love,” the obituary read. “Lawrence, Sr.’s passing proves that evil does eventually die, and it marks a time of healing, which will allow his children to get the closure they deserve.”

Former NYPD officer Lawrence Pfaff Sr. was an “abusive alcoholic” father, his son claimed.
Former NYPD officer Lawrence Pfaff Sr. was an “abusive alcoholic” father, his son claimed.
First Coast News

Pfaff told First Coast News that made futile attempts to connect with his father but had been estranged from him for 30 years.

While the obituary shocked some readers, Pfaff said the themes rang familiar to others.

“I got a call from somebody in St. Augustine that found me and wanted to thank me for posting that because, you know, they had a similar life, and they wanted to be able to do something similar to help heal,” he told the outlet. “They just thanked me for, you know, the honesty.”



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