الخميس , يونيو 11 2020

New York mourns police officer

New York Police Department officers wait in line to enter the wake of officer Rafael Ramos at Christ Tabernacle Church, in the Glendale section of Queens, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014Thousands of police officers are expected to attend Mr Ramos’s funeral on Saturday

Hundreds of people have gathered in New York for the wake of Rafael Ramos, one of two police officers who were shot and killed while sitting in their patrol car.

Mr Ramos, 40, was shot along with his partner Wenjian Liu, 32, in Brooklyn.

New York’s police chief says they were “targeted for their uniform”.

The gunman – who subsequently killed himself – had posted anti-police messages online, amid continuing tensions over police tactics.

Mr Ramos’s funeral will take place in Queens on Saturday.

Friends and colleagues paid tribute to Mr Ramos at the wake on Friday. “He was this beam of light,” said Elizabeth Vidal, who had known Mr Ramos for more than a decade.

People hold up photographs of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu as the casket of Ramos arrives for his wake at Christ Tabernacle Church in the Queens borough of New York on 26 December 2014People gathered outside the church in Queens as Mr Ramos’ casket was brought in

Captain Sergio Centa, Mr Ramos’s commander, told the Associated Press news agency that Mr Ramos had been studying to be a pastor.

“He had Bible study books in his locker, which is rare for a police officer, but that goes to show you the type of man he was,” he said.

Thousands of police officers from around the country are expected to join US Vice-President Joe Biden for the funeral service.

Officers Liu Wenjin (left) and Raphael Ramos in a composite imagePolice officers Liu Wenjin (left) and Raphael Ramos were shot while sitting in their patrol car

The gunman, named as 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had a history of mental instability, according to police.

After the shooting in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area, Brinsley ran into a subway station where he killed himself.

Before shooting them, Brinsley suggested on social media that he was planning to kill police in retaliation for the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died when white officers tried to arrest him for selling single cigarettes in New York.

A grand jury decided not to indict an officer over his death.

This 2009 photo provided by the Springfield, Ohio Police Department shows Ismaaiyl Brinsley after an arrest on a robbery charge.Ismaaiyl Brinsley suggested he was planning to kill police in retaliation for the death of Eric Garner

Last month, another grand jury also cleared a white officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, in Ferguson, Missouri.

Both grand jury decisions triggered nationwide protests.

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