Thousands Expected at Funeral for NY Policeman Slain on Duty

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

6 men arrested after selling weapons to undercover officers in New York.

NEW YORK (AP) – Family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers will say their final goodbyes to a New York City police officer slain on duty before his body is sent to his native Guyana for burial. The weapons assembled here flowed into the city through the same “Iron Pipeline” that supplied the Glock handgun used to kill NYPD Officer Randolph Holder, authorities said yesterday.The slain cop is expected to receive a posthumous promotion to detective first grade from Police Commissioner Bill Bratton at his Wednesday funeral in Queens. “That’s what happened in the past,” said Michael Palladino, head of the NYPD detectives’ union, at the jam-packed Tuesday wake for Holder. “The tradition is to promote them …The moon was still up as police officers began to arrive at a cathedral in Jamaica, Queens, on Tuesday, forming a blocks-long line that never seemed to shorten as the day wore on.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office announced on Tuesday an indictment charging six people with 140 felony counts for allegedly selling 74 illegal guns to an undercover officer in Harlem and the Bronx.A Blue Lives Matter activist said Tuesday that he believes Al Sharpton agreed to give the eulogy at the funeral of a slain NYPD officer because he knew it would receive media attention.

The weapons are among 74 firearms — including pistols, revolvers, rifles and at least one sawed-off shotgun — that a gang of traffickers allegedly smuggled up from South Carolina and peddled to undercover NYPD cops during a nearly yearlong sting operation. It’s meant to honor the sacrifice they made.” Holder’s devastated family filled the front row of the Greater Allen AME Cathedral after arriving en masse from the Far Rockaway home of patriarch Randolph Holder Sr. “Crying, weeping, consoling each other,” Noel said of the scene around the open tan-colored casket where Holder, 33, was laid out in his NYPD blues and eight-point police hat. Two of the illicit gun sales took place on East 102nd Street in East Harlem — the same street where last week a drug-war gun battle erupted, leading to Holder’s murder. Bratton, accompanied by Public Advocate Letitia James, arrived shortly before 4 p.m. — followed 10 minutes later by Mayor de Blasio and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.

A gun-gang bust on Tuesday netted six suspects, including a former Marine, just hours ahead of Holder’s emotional wake and exactly a week to the day after the officer became the fourth NYPD cop shot dead in less than a year. Timothy Cardinal Dolan and former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly were also among the huge crowd of mourners who arrived after the wake began at 9 a.m. Vance, joined by police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio, called on the federal government to enact tougher firearm regulations to shut down the so-called Iron Pipeline, which funnels guns to New York from states with weaker gun laws. The ring’s alleged leader, Samuel “Scrappy” Barreto, had posed in a photo posted on Instagram flashing gang signs with his middle fingers extended — while standing on the hood of an NYPD cruiser.

When Harold was killed, Howard was free on bail but wanted for skipping court after a state Supreme Court judge referred him to a diversion program instead of prison in a drug case. During an afternoon news conference announcing the arrests, top cop Bill Bratton ripped Congress for not doing enough to help stem the flow of guns from the South. “We have a spigot that’s wide open down there, and we don’t have a national or local ability to shut that spigot down at the moment,” the commissioner said. “It still amazes me, the insanity of the United States Congress, that they just don’t get it.

Hundreds of fellow officers gathered Tuesday afternoon for Holder’s wake, some waiting in line for hours, for a chance to offer their condolences and console his family. Producers made the tickets available for $70, and the Rockefeller Foundation is subsidizing $60 of each with a $1.5 million grant to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Among them were regular New Yorkers, drawn simply by respect for the young man’s sacrifice. “You have to stand with them, because they have guts to do what they are doing, and they want to make the city better,” said Loraine Stephen, 63, whose son is a corrections officer. “Because of that, I want to be here.” Around her neck was a Guyanese flag worn as a scarf, a nod to the homeland she and Officer Holder share.

Four times since Dec. 20, when two police officers were shot at point-blank range in an ambush in Brooklyn, New York police officers have stretched black mourning bands across their shields, lowered flags to half-staff and adorned their precinct station houses with black and purple bunting. The earlier killings came at a time when much of the city was roiled with outrage at the death of Eric Garner, a man who was arrested while selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island and died after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer. News of his planned speech had rankled some officers, and he reversed his decision. “I thought my coming might give a sense of unity in the city,” Mr. Speaking to reporters outside the wake, Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, commended his decision. “The focus here is on one police officer who came from another country, came here to risk his life and make a difference.” That seemed true for those who thronged to the cathedral, solemnly waiting on the pavement, or stepping in silence into the church. “He was a son, a brother, a mentor,” the program for the service read, “and ultimately a hero.”

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