Family and friends of the two New York police officers killed on Saturday have responded by attending a candlelight vigil on Sunday evening and calling for peace.
Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, were shot in the head while they were sitting inside a police patrol car in Brooklyn.
The suspected gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, indicated on social media before the attack that he wanted to kill two policemen in the wake of the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases, where police had killed unarmed black men.
Brinsley, who has a criminal record, reportedly shot his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore, before travelling to New York, and after shooting the officers, later killed himself in a New York subway station.
Liu, who had been a police officer for seven years, got married just a few months ago. Ramos was married with two children, and known as a devoted family man and Christian.
According to the Wall Street Journal Ramos’ cousin, Ronnie Gonzalez, said: “My cousin had a couple of priorities in his life. One was God, because he was a God-loving man.
“I wish I could be half the man my cousin was,” Gonzalez added. “He was sweet. He didn’t deserve…to die.”
His aunt, Lucy Ramos, said in a statement that she hoped they could “move forward and find an amicable path to a peaceful coexistence.”
Ramos was also due to be commissioned as a lay chaplain on the day that he was killed.
Rev Marcos Miranda, the president of the New York State Chaplain Task Force where Ramos was training to become a chaplain, told the Christian Post: “I will remember his kindness the most — even the kindness in his eyes — in our talks, he asked what I thought of him being a police officer, and I said it was an honourable job. He said he thought it was ministry because he was helping those in need.
“He never thought he could be a chaplain, he saw himself doing this type of ministry after he retired from the NYPD. He was very excited about that possibility,” Miranda said…Read More
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