Thousands attend funeral for slain NYPD officer
An estimated 25,000 mourners and police officers from across the country gathered Saturday to pay their final respects to slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos.
Officer Ramos and his partner, Officer Wenjian Liu, were fatally shot in an ambush in Brooklyn last Saturday.
The funeral service for Ramos was held at the Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, Queens, where Ramos served as a parishioner and was training to be a pastor.
Outside the church on Myrtle Avenue, a sea of police officers in blue flooded the surrounding area starting early Saturday morning.
Vice President Joe Biden was in attendance, and delivered an impassioned speech to the crowd. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke at the service, as did NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Bratton had posthumously promoted the two slain officers to detectives. Bratton also promoted Ramos to honorary chaplain of the 84th Precinct at the service.
Hundreds of officers who were positioned outside the church watching the ceremony on giant TV screens turned their backs on the mayor as he spoke during the service. The reaction follows comments from police union officials who said de Blasio fostered mistrust toward police amid widespread anti-police protests.
JetBlue flew in more than 730 officers from departments that include Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and several Florida cities for free to attend the wake and funeral.
Officers told News 12 that it was important for them to make the trip so they can pay their respects to one of their own.
Funeral arrangements for Officer Liu have not yet been finalized.