The Rev. Al Sharpton and members of Eric Garner’s family this afternoon visited the site where NYPD Detectives Rafael Ramon and Wenjian Liu were murdered, placing wreaths in their memory. Sharpton and the Garner family travelled from the National Action Network’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in a bus caravan with a few hundred supporters. Sharpton spoke briefly before placing the wreaths:
Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and several senior NYPD officials at One Police Plaza today for a press conference touting remarkable crime statistics for 2014 and discussing the mayor’s troubled relationship with many in the NYPD. The mayor and commissioner began by proudly discussed the NYPD’s accomplishments in pushing crime numbers lower than the record-setting 2013.
The Q&A was quite lengthy, running almost 40 minutes. The Q&A included detailed discussion of the 2014 crime stats and a discussion of two specific cases: a Manhattan man allegedly shot by his adult son while in his Beekman Place apartment and the Manhattan DA’s decision to not charge Sandford Rubenstein in connection with an alleged rape. The mayor and police commissioner also addressed the mayor’s friction-filled relationship with the PBA and rank-and-file police officers and the recent episodes in which police officers turned their back on Mayor de Blasio at the funerals of murdered NYPD detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
An excerpt featuring Mayor de Blasio’s and Commissioner Bratton’s statements on police officers turning their back to the mayor is here.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton today addressed the widely reported actions of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of police officers who turned their backs when Mayor de Blasio spoke at the funerals of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. Speaking during a press conference at One Police Plaza de Blasio termed their actions “disrespectful to the families” of Ramos and Liu and “disrespectful to the people of this City.” Bratton’s reaction was harsher, condemning “a labor action being taken in the middle of a funeral” by officers who “embarrassed themselves.” He also condemned “the selfishness of that action” which “took so much attention” away from the slain detectives.
Detective Rafael Ramos, murdered alongside Detective Wenjian Liu, was buried Saturday amid a sad yet powerful show of support and remembrance. His funeral at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale was attended by an estimated at 25,000 people, predominantly uniformed police officers from New York City and around the country, and many elected officials. Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were among those elected officials, with each speaking during the service.
The funeral concluded with a quiet and somber moment as Detective Ramos’s casket was carried out to a waiting hearse. Taps echoed off the front of the church as an NYPD honor guard saluted amid a sea of officers. Thousands remained silently at attention as the honor guard folded the flag covering Detective Ramos’ casket and presented it to his widow and two sons. The silence was broken only by the roar of engines as police helicopters flew overhead in a missing-man formation and scores of motorcycle cops moved past the family into position at the head of a lengthy funeral procession, leading Detective Ramos to his final resting place.
Here are pictures from Glendale.