Police officers leave candles at an impromptu memorial near the site where two New York City police officers were killed in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014.
New York is a city in mourning following the violent shooting deaths of two police officers in Brooklyn on Saturday.
Two NYPD officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot in their patrol car in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon.
In a statement released by the White House late Saturday night, U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the killings, and urged people to remain peaceful in the wake of the attack. Obama is currently on vacation in Hawaii for the holidays.
"Two brave men won't be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification. The officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day - and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day," he said. "Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal - prayer, patient dialogue and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen."
According to the White House, Obama also called New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton to express his condolences and offer support in the coming days and weeks.
Bratton visited a memorial to the two men and placed a flower at the location they had been attacked on Sunday.
"They will join a line that is too long, a line of partners who served together and made the ultimate sacrifice together," said Bratton in a statement, which listed out several other police partners who had been killed together in the line of duty. "We will not forget them, and we will not forget the oath they took—that we all took, too—but for which they died: that we uphold the constitution, and faithfully discharge our duties, to the best of our ability."
#NYPD Commissioner Bratton places flowers at memorial for slain officers Ramos & Liu. @NY1 pic.twitter.com/XT4PFF9FW5— Tara Lynn Wagner (@TaraLynnWagner) December 21, 2014
On Sunday morning, black and purple bunting was hung on the home precinct of the fallen officers, and a small memorial including flowers and an American flag had begun to form on the Brooklyn street where the officers were killed.
Bunting hangs in honor of 2 slain NYPD officers in their home precinct. #NYPD#PoliceLivesMatter @NYRogerStern pic.twitter.com/9Itce0MC05— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) December 21, 2014
Elsewhere in the city, emotional scenes unfolded, as NYPD officers mourned the loss of two of their own. On the sidewalk in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, two officers could be seen comforting each other.
#NYPD comforting each other outside St. Patrick's. People stopping and thanking them.@wnyc pic.twitter.com/iklcNuT3m7— Brigid Bergin (@brigidbergin) December 21, 2014
Since Saturday's attack, dozens of police departments across the nation have sent messages of support to the NYPD.
Thoughts & prayers to the families & fellow officers of the two #NYPD officers shot and killed today (12/20/2014) in the line of duty.— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) December 21, 2014
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called for a vigil for the officers at 6.pm on Sunday, and asked that those recently staging protests in the city hold off on further demonstrations until the two slain officers were laid to rest.
Brooklyn BP Eric Adams asking protesters to hold off on all marches/protests until Officers Liu and Ramos are buried. pic.twitter.com/enNW7sbRe8— Mike Balsamo (@MikeBalsamo1) December 21, 2014
During a press briefing at Woodhull Medical Center on Saturday night, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton said the two officers were assassinated "execution style" by 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley. Brinsley later killed himself in a nearby G train subway station.
By Sunday morning, additional information had begun to emerge about Brinsley's past. He had an extensive criminal history, and his last known address was in the Atlanta area.
A few hours before traveling to New York, Brinsley had shot his ex-girlfriend in the Baltimore area, and then indicated in an Instagram post that he intended to shoot two "pigs" in retaliation for the chokehold death of Eric Garner and the shooting death of Michael Brown, both of whom were killed by police earlier this year.
Wow, this is supposedly from the Brooklyn gunman's Instagram who shot the two police officers in Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/9PWdHW7Enm— TC (@tchopstl) December 20, 2014
Families of both Garner and Brown have condemned the police killings. Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking on behalf of Garner's family, said they denounced the violence.
An eye for an leaves the whole world blind. We all at NAN express our prayers and condolences to the families of the 2 NYC officers.— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) December 20, 2014
Following Brinsley's attack on his ex-girlfriend, Baltimore police had sent a wanted flier to the NYPD, but it did not reach them in time. The poster identified Brinsley as an armed suspect and said officers should use "extreme caution" as he had made threats on police.
"This was essentially at the same time as our officers were being ambushed and murdered," Bratton said during Saturday's briefing. "The tragedy here is just as the warning was coming in, the murder was occurring."
Tags: Barack Obama, KILLING, MURDER, NEW YORK, NEW YORK CITY, NYPD, POLICE VIOLENCE, SHOOTING, U.S., US & World