Thousands mourn slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos; Liu funeral to come

World Today

A week after the ambush killing of two New York City police officers, tens of thousands of people turned out for a funeral for one of the fallen. CCTV’s Nathan King reported this story from Washington D.C.

Rafael Ramos was remembered at a service just a few miles from where he was shot by a gunman who then killed himself. The other officer, Wenjian Liu, originally from China, will be buried at a later date.

Both officers were posthumously promoted to the rank of detectives and Ramos was also made an honorary chaplain.

After the casket carrying Ramos arrived at the church, a sea of blue uniforms followed. Thousands of police officers from New York and across the U.S. turned out to honor one of their own, shot dead Dec. 20 while on duty.

It was a somber and emotionally charged gathering for a New York policeman who many said epitomized the motto of the police department.

“They were a part of New York’s finest. And that’s not an idle phrase. This is probably the finest police department in the world, the finest in the world. They earned that praise,” Vice President Joe Biden said.

Thousands mourn slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos; Liu funeral to come

Thousands mourn slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos; Liu funeral to come

A week after the ambush killing of two New York City police officers, tens of thousands of people turned out for a funeral for one of the fallen. CCTV’s Nathan King reported this story from Washington D.C.

Ramos always wanted to be a policeman. He had served only about three years on the force when he and his partner were shot in the front seat of their patrol car. The 40-year-old leaves behind a wife and two sons. New York’s mayor also paid tribute.

“Our hearts are aching today, feel it physically, feel it deeply. New York City has lost a hero – a remarkable man because of the depth of his commitment to all around him,” Mayor Bill De Blasio said.

Saturday’s service was not without controversy. As New York City’s mayor spoke, many police officers in the crowd turned their backs. They are angry at De Blasio for his public comments supporting demonstrations against police after the controversial choke-hold killing of an unarmed black man in New York.

Some have even blamed the death of the two policemen on comments made by the mayor. The officers were shot by a gunman whose social media posts suggest he was inspired by protests against police brutality.

In the wake of the shootings, the mayor called for a halt to demonstrations until after the funerals. But protesters ignored the plea.

Anti-police demonstrations have gained momentum around the U.S. in recent weeks, especially in Missouri, following another fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer, said to have acted in self-defense.