Documentary on Daily News photographer’s struggle to help his homeless, mentally ill son gets Emmy nod

Kenny Murray, 26, who suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, speaks to New York Police Department detectives before he was taken into custody at a Burger King restaurant in this 2015 file photo. (JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

A documentary chronicling a Daily News photographer’s heartbreaking struggle to get his mentally ill son off the streets has been nominated for an Emmy Award.

“Shelter in the City” tells the story of Ken Murray Sr., who has been trying for more than a decade to get long-term care for his troubled 26-year-old son Ken Jr.

“I hope this raises more awareness about what the problems are with the mentally ill,” Murray said.

Ken Murray Jr. has been living on the streets of New York off and on for the past eight years.

His father has been trying to get the troubled young man, who suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, into a long-term mental hospital or assisted living facility.

But Ken Jr. has resisted his father’s intervention attempts and his mental health has further deteriorated in recent years.

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Cops talk to Murray outside the Burger King before they cuffed him on a mental hygiene warrant in 2015.

“He’s just so severely mentally ill that he really should be back in a hospital,” Murray said.

The Net-TV film — produced by Craig Tubiolo and Terence Donnellan — premiered at the Vail Film Festival in April 2016.

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Donnellan, who also directed the documentary, said he reached out to Murray Sr. after reading a 2015 Daily News article about the photographer’s struggle to get help for his son.

“It’s really a heartbreaking story what he’s been through and is still going through,” Donnellan said.

The film uses Murray Sr.’s journey as a window into the city’s homeless crisis.

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Murray fist bumps Detective Joseph Delre in 2015.

“I think it’s horrible that we have the wealthiest city in the world and we can’t take care of the people in it,” Donnellan said.

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The 2017 Emmy Awards will be held Saturday night at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.

The film was nominated in the Societal Concerns category for a program or special.


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