NYC Police Commissioner Says Cops Were ‘Targeted for Their Uniform’

New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton speaks at a promotion ceremony for New York Police Department officers on December 19, 2014 in New York City. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images North America)
New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton speaks at a promotion ceremony for New York Police Department officers on December 19, 2014 in New York City. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images North America)

One just joined the force two years ago — and got married two months ago. The other had just celebrated his 40th birthday.

New York City and the USA as a whole are mourning the deaths of police officers Wenjian Liu and Raphael Ramos, shot dead Saturday in their patrol car a Brooklyn neighborhood.

Liu was a two-year veteran of the force with a new wife. Ramos had just marked his 40th birthday with his wife and their teenage son earlier this month.

“They were, quite simply, assassinated, targeted for their uniform and the responsibility they embraced,” an obviously shaken New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said at an evening press conference. “Both were ambushed and murdered.”

Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio met with the officers’ families shortly after the two were gunned down Saturday afternoon.

“With other public servants and leads of this police department, we prayed over the bodies of these two officers,” de Blasio said. “I ask that all New Yorkers pray for them, pray for their families. It’s a moment of terrible loss and it’s a moment when we must all come together to support these families, support healing, and to be thankful that there are heroes among us, like Officer Ramos and Officer Liu.”

De Blasio and police officers have clashed in recent weeks over what officers see as the mayor’s lack of support for their work. Many officers took offense when de Blasio said it was a “very painful day” for many New Yorkers when a grand jury declined to indict the officer who put Eric Garner into a fatal chokehold, and when the mayor also said racial profiling is a problem among officers.

The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has been distributing a letter for members who want DiBlasio to stay away from their funeral if they’re killed. The association says many politicians have engaged in “police bashing” and failed to properly support officers.

On Twitter, the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association said “the blood of 2 executed police officers is on the hands of Mayor de Blasio. May God bless their families and may they rest in peace.”

Bratton said Liu and Ramos knew the risk they were taking in putting on their uniforms — the very uniforms that made them a target for Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, who police named as the attacker.

“There is no more emotional time in the life of a police officer, in policing, than when a death occurs. A death of this nature, an assassination — it’s unlike any other type of emotion. It’s hard to deal with, hard to get your arms around,” Bratton said. “It’s going to be a tough time for the men and women of this department … but they will go out and do what we expect of them. That’s what cops do. And it’s not easy.”

SOURCE: USA Today
Trevor Hughes

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