Brooklynites are mourning the loss of two police officers shot at point-blank range in their marked NYPD car on Saturday, December 20—one of them, Officer Wenjian Liu, 32, a newlywed and Bensonhurst resident, the other Officer Rafael Ramos, 40, a husband and father to 13-year-old Jaden Ramos, a student at Charles O. Dewey Middle School in Sunset Park.
“As a 22-year veteran of the New York City Police Department, a Brooklynite and, most importantly, as a human being that believes in decency, I am horrified and angered over today’s senseless shootings in Bedford-Stuyvesant which have resulted in the tragic death of two of New York’s Finest,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “This has been a trying period for New York City, and indeed our entire nation, as we have wrestled with longstanding challenges of equity and fair treatment in our society.”
Ramos and Liu, both assigned to the 84th Precinct—covering the scope of Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Vinegar Hill and the Farragut Residences—were stationed within the confines of the 79th Precinct on Tompkins Avenue at the time of the shooting, a move made as part of a Department crime reduction strategy to address violence complaints near Housing Developments in the area.
According to police reports, the suspect, identified as 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley from Baltimore, took a shooting stance on the passenger side of the vehicle and fired his weapon several times through the front passenger window, striking both officers in the head—Ramos in the driver seat, and Liu in the front passenger seat. Brinsley then fled to a nearby subway station where he took his own life on the platform with the same weapon used on the officers.
State Senator Marty Golden, a former NYPD officer like Adams, made a statement about the “execution-like” killings and the city back-tracking in terms of police relations.
“Two members of the NYPD were brutally killed in an apparent execution in Brooklyn,” said Golden. “My thoughts and prayers go out to their families and all members of the department trying to keep our city safe. It’s unfortunate that our city has back tracked on 40 years of police relations. We cannot allow our fellow men and women in uniform to be targets of violence. It’s time for the Mayor and his administration to act.”
“A tragedy of unspeakable magnitude occurred with the assassination of two NYC police officers,” said Councilmember Vincent Gentile. “My heart goes out to the families of the two officers and [I] ask for the prayers of everyone in my district for these men and their families.”
Gentile’s office—located at 8018 5th Avenue, is offering free blue ribbons for New Yorkers to wear in show of support for the NYPD
“I am calling for all New Yorkers to wear a blue ribbon to show your support for the men and women of the NYPD,” added Golden. “Tie a blue ribbon to the tree outside your house or adorn your windows with blue lights. Just a few days before Christmas, let us come together as New Yorkers and show the men and women who put their lives on the line for us each and every day that we have their backs and that we appreciate the risks they take without question or hesitation.”
On Sunday, December 21, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called for flags on all state government buildings in New York City to be flown at half-staff in honor of Liu and Ramos. There was also a moment of silence held at The Coney Island Public Menorah celebration on the same day to honor the fallen officers.
There will be a candle light ceremony on Friday, December 26, between three and five p.m. to honor the officers at the 68th Precinct on 66th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues.