News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Mon. Dec. 22, 2014: The Puerto Rican origin family of slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos yesterday called for peace and forgiveness as the city continued reeling from the shocking execution of two of its finest.
Officer Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu were exactly the kind of cops advocates against police brutality have long insisted on. They were born in the neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, lived there and worked there.
Officer Ramos, 40, was born in Brooklyn and lived in the same Cypress Hills section on Ridgewood Avenue where he had grown up. His family had migrated to New York from Puerto Rico and he was an older recruit to the NYPD.
Ramos had spent 14 years working for Airborne Express/DHL delivering packages. He then worked as a school safety officer from 2009 to 2012 at the Rocco Laurie School on Staten Island before joining the NYPD three years ago.
He hoped to one day be a chaplain, relatives and colleagues said but spent his spare time at the Christ Tabernacle in Queens, and had once studied at a seminary. He hoped to join the ministry when he retired from the police force and dedicated his spare time to his wife and two sons.
His partner, Officer Liu, also lived in Brooklyn. Liu’s family moved from Taishan, in Guangdong Province, China to NYC. The 32-year-old had attended the College of Staten Island and Kingsborough Community College and became an auxiliary officer before later becoming a police officer in 2007. He was a newly-wed, marrying only two months ago.
While sitting in a marked NYPD police car, in full uniform, participating in an anti-terrorism drill, both were ambushed and murdered in front of 98 Tompkins Avenue in the Bedford Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York City, home to a significant populations of African-Americans as well as Puerto Ricans and Dominican Americans.
Both officers were assigned to 84 Precinct, but were posted at that location as part of a NYPD’s crime reduction strategy to address the complaints of violence in the area of the Housing Developments in that area.
Officer Ramos was in the driver seat, and Officer Liu was in the front passenger seat beside him. According to witness statements, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, walked up to the police car. He took a shooting stance on the passenger side and fired his weapon several times through the front passenger window striking both officers in the head.
Officer Liu and Officer Ramos never had the opportunity to draw their weapons and may never have actually seen their assailant.
Other officers, who were also assigned to the CRV post, immediately pursued Brinsley southbound on Tompkins Avenue. Brinsley then turned westbound on Myrtle Avenue and fled into the Myrtle Avenue and Willoughby Street (G) train subway station.
He proceeded down the stairs onto the westbound subway platform. While on the platform, Brinsley shot himself in the head, took his own life. A silver semi-automatic Taurus firearm was recovered on the subway platform near the suspect’s body.
Officers Liu and Ramos were transported here, to Woodhull Hospital. Despite every effort to save their lives, both officers tragically succumbed to their injuries.
On Sunday Richard Gonzales, Ramos’ first cousin, told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria it’s time for the city to come together and forgive the killer.
“We don’t blame him. We forgive him. The Ramos family forgives him because God forgave us,” he said. “And I know if Rafael was here and it was the opposite, he would say the same words — he forgave him.”
Ramos’ aunt, Lucy Ramos, said she hopes that common ground and peace can be found within this tragedy.
“…Our beloved family member Rafael Ramos who will always be loved and missed by many. I hope and pray that we can reflect on this tragic loss of lives that have occurred so that we can move forward and find an amicable path to a peaceful coexistence,” she said.
Officer Liu’s parents and wife remain in mourning and have released no public statements.
Funeral arrangements for the two officers are yet to be announced but Officer Ramos’ relatives have insisted NYC’s Mayor Bill DeBlasio will be welcomed at his funeral despite being chastised by Police Union President, Patrick Lynch.