How a South Carolina Cop’s Stolen Gun Was Allegedly Used to Kill an NYPD Officer

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

At Officer Randolph Holder’s Funeral, Mayor Says New York Lost a ‘Remarkable Man’.

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of police officers packed rain-swept streets on Wednesday outside the funeral for a slain New York Police Department officer with deep law enforcement roots in his native Guyana.An emotional Police Commissioner Bill Bratton bestowed a gold detective’s shield on NYPD Officer Randolph Holder at his funeral in Queens on Wednesday — with the same badge number as the dead cop’s former-policeman father, No. 9657. “He is a hero,’’ said Bratton, his voice breaking before handing a box with the shield to Holder’s dad from the altar of the Greater Allen A.M.E.For the fourth time in less than a year, they gathered: New York City officers in their dress blue uniforms, colleagues from distant police departments, ordinary New Yorkers thrust into mourning by the killing of yet another officer. The mayor spoke of how Holder came to the United States 12 years ago with a dream of becoming a police officer — like his father and grandfather had in Guyana — and “make the world better.” Holder, 33, “served as a peace officer in the truest sense of the word,” the mayor said. “He loved to be in the community.

Choking up as he addressed the dead officer, Bratton told Holder that he was now relieved of his duty, adding, “We send you on your new assignment — to be a guardian angel at the gates of heaven.’’ Bratton told the mourners, “What makes a police officer? Holder, a five-year veteran from Guyana, was killed 20 October while responding to a report of shots fired and a bicycle stolen at gunpoint in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood.

The Rev Al Sharpton, a prominent civil rights leader and critic of police treatment of minorities, on Tuesday canceled plans to be the eulogist at Holder’s funeral, saying he was concerned that his presence would be more divisive than unifying. Bratton, in his remarks, said his fellow officers called Officer Holder the Doc, for his wisdom and his ability to create a mental catalog of the faces in the neighborhood he patrolled. There was loud applause when he left the podium to give the badge to the father. “To simply wear the uniform of an officer is an act of courage,” she said. “You haven chosen to be both target and hero. Hours before the service, officers rose on Wednesday, black mourning bands around their badges, to take part in a majestic ritual — the bagpipes and the coffin covered with a flag, the helicopter flyover and motorcycle-led procession — all the while contemplating the dangers that stalk the most routine patrol.

Advocates for the diversion program, which offers treatment as an alternative to incarceration for drug addicts, have warned against making major policy changes based on one incident. In December, a gunman fatally shot two uniformed officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, as they sat in their patrol car on a Brooklyn street before taking his own life.

But less choose to be heroes.’’ His accused killer, Tyrone Howard, was out on the streets after being given rehab instead of jail time for a drug bust after more than two dozen previous arrests. On Tuesday, a day before Officer Holder’s funeral, a Manhattan grand jury indicted Tyrone Howard, a repeat drug offender from the East River Houses, in the killing.

The authorities believe he had been fleeing the scene of a shooting near his home when he encountered Officer Holder around 8:30 p.m. and fired once from a .40-caliber Glock handgun, striking him in the head. John Mangan, a Police Department booster, walked in the rain on Wednesday holding a long pole bearing the names of Officers Ramos, Liu, Moore and, now, Holder. Indeed, the political acrimony that clung to the funerals of Officers Liu and Ramos late last year — coming as they did amid national debate and protest over police brutality — has faded. Bratton said. “But the risk we accept is that bad people do bad things, not that the public will abandon us when bad things happen to bad people and we’ve acted lawfully. A thicket of blue uniforms — worn by officers from places such as Annapolis, Md., Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Waller County, Tex. — stretched for blocks on Merrick Boulevard, in both directions from the church in Jamaica, Queens.

At noon, Leeds Jean, a member of the 67th Precinct’s clergy council, stepped outside in a long royal blue shirt and black skullcap and blew six times from a shofar, a horn. “The shofar sound is the sound of mourning,” said Mr. Wind whipped the flags and branches outside the church as his coffin was carried away, draped by the green, white and blue flag of the Police Department.

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