Serpico was a New York Police Department officer who testified against police corruption 1971. As the first police officer in America's history to report and testify against widespread dealings between cops and criminals, his actions exposed millions of dollars in payouts to crooked officers.
However he was shot at point blank range in the face during a drug bust in Brooklyn on February 3 1971 and his 'back-up' officers did nothing to help him leading many to believe it was an execution attempt.
Serpico survived and testified before the Knapp Commission stating that: "We create an atmosphere in which the honest officer fears the dishonest officer, and not the other way around...". He was portrayed by Al Pacino in the hit film 'Serpico'.