He was an honest cop who searched the darkness of the police establishment for someone to listen to his complaints of bribes and corruption. He ran headlong into the "Blue Wall of Silence" and was left powerless by politicians afraid of public backlash. When he went to the New York Times with his story the result was a scandalized police department and city administration. Serpico returned to the force and while on a narcotics bust in 1971 he was shot point-blank in the face by a dealer. His partners didn't back him up or call for help as he lay bleeding on the floor. A building resident called an ambulance saving his life. After testifying against cops and appearing at the Knapp Commission hearings on police corruption he left the country to live abroad for ten years.