Following the murder of two police officers, tensions have increased in New York City. Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed in a targeted attack by a gunman who expressed plans on his instagram. Both officers were sitting in their squad car eating lunch when the gunman approached and shot them at close range. Both officers have since been posthumously promoted to rank of first grade detective which augments benefits to their families which is awarded to families of slain officers.
The first of the funerals took place on Saturday at a church in Queens, NY. Rafael Ramos was laid to rest in front of family and friends as well as a myriad of supporters. In addition to the family and friends, hundreds of NYPD officers came to show their respect. As per any government official funeral, the mayor of New York, Bill DeBlasio, came to support the slain officers as well as make a eulogy. However, during the eulogy for officer Rafael Ramos, the officers in attendance turned their backs to Mayor DeBlasio. DeBlasio’s eulogy played out on a live large video monitors outside of the Christ Tabernacle Church.
Union officials as well as NYPD supporters have accused and blamed the mayor for causing a further rift between communities and the police force by continuing to promote distrust. Mayor DeBlasio has made numerous pleas for a change in climate in the NYPD for the few officers who have a distaste for some communities in the city. Many have taken those pleas as a sign of disrespect and opposition toward the NYPD. However, both supporters of the mayor as well as supporters for the NYPD have denounced the move by the officers who turned their backs calling it the ultimate sign of disrespect. Even former Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who has been a staunch supporter of the NYPD, condemned the act saying that in no way should the mayor be treated in that way and that whether you support him or not, you should respect his position.
During DeBlasio’s eulogy, he offered his condolences on behalf of the city to the Ramos family saying:
“All of this city is grieving and grieving for so many reasons,” he said. “But the most personal is that we lost such a good man.”
Funeral services for the other officer shot, Wenjian Liu is set to take place in the first weekend of the new year. Mayor DeBlasio is expected to attend those services as well.