Tributes to Slain NYPD Officer as City Grieves

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A final farewell to Det. Randolph Holder.

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. Sometimes Randolph Holder, a 33-year-old police officer from Guyana, even made house calls, driving up to 40 minutes out of his way to pick up a colleague without a car every day for four years. 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 weapon came in via an “iron pipeline” that Bratton blames Congress for failing to shut down. “It still amazes me, the insanity of the United States Congress, that they just don’t get it,” the commissioner says about the failure of Congress to act. “And I don’t know why they don’t get it.” That’s because the guns Bratton sees as illegal mostly aren’t illegal until they enter his jurisdiction. Thousands of officers from around the country gathered under wet gray skies to pay their respects to an officer who was praised for his gentle spirit and generosity. It’s what we do.” Working in a housing project, Holder learned everyone’s face, knew who was and wasn’t supposed to be there. “He did not shy away from being a role model,” the mayor said. “He embraced it.

He showed young people their possibilities — because he lived it.” De Blasio vowed that dangerous people, like Holder’s alleged murderer — “whose only mission is to harm others — will not be allowed to walk the streets.” Strong words; we hope he’ll make good on them. 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. That’s when I decided I could be a role model and make a difference in my community and in New York City.” Authorities say 30-year-old Tyrone Howard shot Mr. Mayor de Blasio told mourners inside the church — with thousands more people, many grim-faced cops wearing raincoats over their uniforms, listening silently outside — “All of New York City is in pain at this moment. “We know the city lost a remarkable man, a man who made us better by his presence,’’ he said. “This is a man who lived life so fully and gave life to so many. … He was not about himself.

That’s why only seven states have both laws giving the government full discretion over who gets a permit to carry a pistol and a record of denying such permits even to law-abiding citizens. There is no definition that could articulate the feeling, because I know it so well. … I have worn the shoes, and I have walked many miles in them,’’ Muhammad said. “To simply wear the uniform of an officer is an act of courage. 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. He hasn’t entered a plea. “We wanted to pay respects to the fallen officer,” he said, a black ribbon stripped over his badge to commemorate the officer. “We’re all here as one.” “I’m proud as a Guyanese that this officer put a bright Guyanese on the map,” said Loraine Stephen, 63, a retired nursing assistant from Jamaica, Queens, who emigrated from that country 30 years ago. “He came to this country and was very useful to society.” She arrived at 9 a.m., wearing a Guyanese flag scarf around her neck and holding a matching umbrella, and brought her own chair to sit in support during the funeral. Unless he has the money to go through a long process to prove a need — and that’s impossible for most to do — city residents will be turned down for a carry permit.

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. They lifted the casket above their shoulders and marched slowly into the church as bagpipes played “Amazing Grace.” At the first notes, thousands of police officials put a hand to their right temple or their heart, saluting the fallen officer. One of the musicians, a 77-year-old retired NYPD officer who continues to play bagpipes at officer funerals, said the tragedies never get easier. “They get worse, and sadder,” said the player, who gave his first name as John. “It’s tragic.” Mr. Holder was praised, sometimes pointedly, as a model for forging strong relationships between the community and the police force, memorizing faces in the area he patrolled and reaching out to at risk youth.

Mayor Bill de Blasio received a warm welcome, in contrast to the funerals of Officer Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, when some officers turned their backs. This time, he drew applause after calling for keeping “guns out of the hands of criminals” so that “we don’t lose more good men and women like Officer Holder.” “His very life was an example of aiming higher, beating the odds, believing something better could be achieved,” Mr. de Blasio said. “In his name, we will not give up.” “See we could blame everybody,” said Rev.

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