The New York City Police Department is mourning the loss of two of of their own as officers and the public visit and leave flowers at a makeshift memorial near the site where officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were murdered in the Brooklyn on Saturday.
The officers were killed in an ambush by 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had vowed on social media to put “wings on pigs” as retaliation for the deaths of black men at the hands of white police. Brinsley later killed himself.
Ramos was Hispanic and Liu was Asian.
Ramos was married with a 13-year-old son and had another in college, police and a friend said. He had been on the job since 2012 and was a school safety officer. His aunt, Lucy Ramos, gave a statement following her nephew’s death. A wake for Ramos will be held on Friday at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, police said. The funeral will be held there on Saturday.
Liu had been on the job for seven years and just gotten married two months ago. Officials are currently working to obtain travel documents for some of Liu’s family in China; a funeral will be scheduled after they arrive in the United States. His wifow, Pei Xia Chen, briefly emerged from her home on Monday evening to address the media, thanking members of the police department and her community for their support, and expressing condolences to Officer Ramos’ family.
Liu hailed from Guangzhou, China, and came to New York with his family when he was a teenager to seek the American Dream, his family said. He was killed nearly 20 years to the day of his arrival in America – Christmas Eve 1994.
This year he moved to a home in Brooklyn’s Gravesend section and got married just two months ago. Liu was considered a valuable asset to the NYPD because he was conversant in several Chinese dialects and helped the department with community relations in Chinese neighborhoods.
Families of both slain policemen are awaiting relatives from outside the city. Liu’s will arrive from China, with the help of officials securing travel documents, and Ramos’ from Puerto Rico, where he has his roots. Ramos’ funeral will be on Saturday. Liu’s family has not yet set a date for his funeral.
According to the nonprofit Officer Down Memorial Page, Ramos and Liu, both assigned to the 84th Precinct in New York City were sitting in their patrol car at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Thompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant and were participating in an anti-terrorism drill when they were both shot in the head and upper body multiple times.
JetBlue has offered to fly the families of Ramos and Liu to the funeral as well as two officers from each department, space permitting.
Services for Ramos will be held on Friday and Saturday at Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens. Vice President Joe Biden along with 20,000 officers are expected to attend the funeral.
Arrangements for Lui have not been released.
Story compiled with information from CCTV America, China Daily, Reuters, and AP reports.