By Mike Balsamo
NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton drew salutes from some <!–more–>officers Saturday as they arrived at the wake of a second New York Police Department officer killed in an ambush shooting. The gesture of respect during the calling hours for Officer Wenjian Liu contrasted with the back-turning insults hundreds of officers displayed last week toward video screens showing the mayor speaking at the funeral of Liu’s police partner, Officer Rafael Ramos. It also came after Bratton urged rank-and-file officers to refrain from making political statements at Liu’s wake and funeral.
Police union officials, who are negotiating a contract with the city, had accused de Blasio of helping foster an anti-police atmosphere by supporting demonstrations following the chokehold death of an unarmed black man in the New York City borough of Staten Island who resisted arrest.
The back-turning at Ramos’ funeral mimicked what some police union officials did outside a hospital where the officers were taken right after they were killed two weeks ago.Liu and Ramos were ambushed in their patrol car on a Brooklyn street by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who killed himself as police closed in on him. Brinsley had made references online to the killings of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers.
Liu’s funeral was scheduled for Sunday with a Chinese ceremony to be followed by a traditional police ceremony with eulogies led by a chaplain. The 32-year-old officer had been on the police force for seven years and had gotten married two months before he died. His widow spoke tearfully days after the shooting.
Liu’s funeral arrangements were delayed so relatives from China could travel to New York.
Uniformed officers from across the United States were among the first in line Saturday at Liu’s wake. (end)