Tens of thousands of New York City police officers stood outside Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens on Saturday morning for the funeral of Rafael Ramos, one of the two officers killed last week in an assassination-style murder. Inside the church, dignitaries and politicians—including Vice President Joe Biden, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio—eulogized Ramos.
"When an assassin's bullet targeted two officers, it targeted this city and it touched the soul of the entire nation," Vice President Biden said.
In the wake of the murder of Ramos and his partner, Wenjian Liu, many in the New York law enforcement community criticized Mayor De Blasio. The head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association—a police union—went so far to say De Blasio had blood on his hands. In the association's view, De Blasio's endorsement of the protests surrounding the death of Eric Garner created an anti-police atmosphere. The New York Times reports that when De Blasio began to speak at the funeral Saturday, "a few" police officers in the crowd turned their backs to him. The Guardian reports "hundreds" of officers turned around.
In his speech, De Blasio, along with honoring Ramos, extended his sympathies to the greater law-enforcement community. "[I] extend my condolences to another family, the family of the NYPD that is hurting so deeply right now," he said.
Officer Ramos put his life on the line every day so other New Yorkers could live in peace. So they could live in safety. That is what he believed in. His life was tragically cut short. But his memory will live on in the hearts of his family, his congregation, his brothers and sisters of the NYPD, and literally millions of New Yorkers. We will not forget.
Watch De Blasio's full remarks below.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.