NYPD officer Michael Hance, who made headlines after a video of him twerking at a Gay Pride parade went viral, has died at the age of 44.
Hance, from the 111th precinct, in Queens, worked at the Ground Zero bucket brigade in the aftermath of the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. He died on Sunday of 9/11-related cancer, reported the New York Daily News.
In November, he grew dizzy and fell in front of his Bethpage, Long Island home. He was diagnosed with brain cancer, which spread to his lungs, liver, and chest, said the outlet.
‘He loved being a cop,’ older brother Peter Hance told the outlet. ‘It was in his blood.’
Hance was divorced and had two children, Kaitlyn, 12, and Jenna, 10.
‘Those two daughters were his life. They’re going through a rough time right now,’ Hance said.
He was also engaged to a woman only identified as Melanie on his obituary.
He wasn’t gay, but his gleeful dancing while on duty at the 2015 Gay Pride Parade to Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ earned him kudos from the gay community.
‘I was as impressed as I was happy,‘ Brian Downey, the president of the NYPD’s Gay Officer’s Action League told the outlet. ‘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.’
Aaron Santis was marching at the parade Big Apple Softball League, an LGBT sports group, when he began doing the popular twerk dance near the cop. Hance joined right in.
The video has been viewed almost eight million times on YouTube.
‘Aaron had danced in front of a lot of cops but they were not as responsive. Then we saw this officer get into it. (Hance) understood what the parade was about – about having fun and being yourself,’ said Paige Ponzeka, who recorded the moment on video. ‘That was the best part … that he was straight and was still having fun at the parade.’
‘That’s just who he was,’ his brother told the outlet. ‘He was definitely a people person. He has like eight million friends.’
On March 7, the family created a fund to help with medical expenses.