Two officers slain in their cruiser a year ago are honored in New York

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

Families of slain NYPD officers Wenjian Liu, Rafael Ramos fight grief a year after Brooklyn shooting.

Plaques commemorating Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were unveiled at the 84th precinct station house on the anniversary of their fatal shootings inside a patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn. “I would give anything to see him and hear his voice again,” said Officer Liu’s father, Wei Tang Liu, through his daughter-in-law, Pei Xia Chen, who acted as an interpreter.

Accompanied by the sounds of bagpipes and sobs, city officials, family members and police on Sunday honored the lives of two officers who were shot to death a year ago while in their cruiser. Officer Liu was inside a marked police vehicle on Dec. 20, 2014, with his partner, Officer Ramos, when a lone gunman fired into the vehicle, striking both men in the head and killing them, police officials said. A large band and full choir filled the Christ Tabernacle Church with hymns as pictures of the partners were shown on large screens hung above the altar. “I just want to thank everyone for their love and support,” said Maritza Ramos, the high school sweetheart and wife of Rafael. “This year has been a tremendous roller-coaster for our families. “We can’t even put into words how difficult this year has been for us.

The shooter had claimed on social media that he was targeting police because of the high-profile deaths of unarmed men during encounters with officers. Several miles away, at the site where they were mortally wounded in front of a public housing development at Myrtle and Tompkins avenues, the families laid two wreaths with the men’s names in silver glitter and draped with blue ribbons at the approximate time of the killings, 2:47 p.m. “These two men were undoubtedly exceptional,” Mayor Bill de Blasio had said outside the precinct. An awful sacrifice to have to make, but something that had an impact on this city and in this country.” The bronze plaques will be placed in the roll call room where officers at the precinct receive their orders for the day, officials said. They will sit next to the plaque for Officer Alain Schaberger, who was killed after he and his partner struggled to arrest a man with a long history of domestic violence in March 2011, police said.

The aftermath of the deaths of Liu and Ramos was politically tense, as police union representatives blamed de Blasio in light of his perceived support for protesters against perceived police brutality. Police Commissioner William Bratton said the deaths had the effect of stymieing protests that were gaining momentum nationwide — demonstrations against police misconduct, during which some advocated violence against officers.

He had posted on Instagram that he wanted to put “wings on pigs” and referenced Eric Garner, whose police chokehold death led to protests against the New York Police Department. In the year since the killings, tensions have eased between the police labor unions and the mayor, whose winning 2013 mayoral campaign centered on criticizing the NYPD’s treatment of young black and Latino men. Bratton posted about the slain officers Sunday on Twitter, writing “One year later we remain faithful to our vow that we will #NeverForget our fallen heroes, Detectives Ramos & Liu.” (TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries.

My husband cries every day without him.” One cabinet in the house is dedicated to all of Liu’s achievements — trophies, plaques, his posthumous NYPD Medal of Honor. After the plaque ceremony on Sunday, de Blasio and Bratton were to lay a wreath at the intersection in Bedford-Stuyvesant where the shootings occurred on 20 December 2014.

Co-workers remembered a cop who preferred talking through problems to blunt force. “At one time there was a kid from Queens who was lost in our neighborhood,” his mother remembered. “He was hungry, so my son took him to McDonald’s and fed him. I don’t think that’s what he would have wanted.” Justin found it tough to return to Bowdoin College in Maine, where he majors in government and legal studies — but was inspired by his father’s lingering presence, his mom says.

Rafael Ramos and Justin went through the whole college application process as a team, and the father was “super excited when he got accepted,” Maritza recalled. This year, the Ramos family plans to celebrate Christmas with a meal featuring their slain patriarch’s favorite holiday foods, including potato salad and the pork and rice dish, arroz con gandules. And they received $760,00 from the Daily News and its generous readers, which includes a $200,000 donation from the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “I’m retired.

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