Wenjian Liu’s burial was flocked by thousands of police officers on Sunday, along with the residents of the close-knit Bensonhurst, Brooklyn community residents. The slain 32-year-old NYPD detective was shot on Dec. 20 in Brooklyn with partner Rafael Ramos, 40, while sitting in a patrol car, just because they were policemen.
Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, the killer, committed suicide after. Earlier, he posted angry messages on social media against the government and the police. He cited officers killing two black men.
It is believed that Liu is the first Chinese-American police officer in New York to be slain in line of duty. Ramos was laid to rest on December 28 with more than 20,000 mourners, which is among the largest of NYPD’s history. Liu’s funeral was delayed to wait for relatives coming from China.
The mourners, notably the uniformed officers, flooded the Bensonhurst streets on a dreary Sunday to pay respect to a brother. Wenjian Liu’s burial was flocked by officers from California, Colorado, Nevada, Texas and from around the country, as well as from Canada. Cops came to show solidarity, forming a seemingly endless line outside Aievoli Funeral Homes in Brooklyn.
Police Officer Josh Burke from Colorado said they come for unity and support, regardless whether they are from a small or big town. Cops from San Mateo and Concord California said that even if they hung holsters far away, Liu was like their close partner.
San Mateo Sheriff’s cop Javier Acosta said the latest division between the community and cops in New York and Ferguson, Missouri, set law enforcement 20 to 30 years back. He said he felt nothing but anger upon hearing a mad man from Maryland executed two NYPD officers.
DeSoto Police Department, South Dallas, Texas has Officer Rodney Sneed and Sgt. Melissa Franks who took up JetBlue with others on its free flights offer to Liu’s burial. Franks said it is their duty to pay respects.
Police officers David Mann and Daniel Coyne remembered the presence of NYPD officers in Nevada last year, when two cops on duty were killed. They are happy to return the favor, said Coyne, as their colleagues in New York are taking good care of them.
Superintendent Peter Yuen from Toronto Police was also present with 15 Asian officers. He commented it is not frequent to have a fallen comrade, but they are there for his final journey.
Director James Comey of FBI addressed the mourners saying, policemen become officers because they want to do good, for the betterment of ordinary life, by doing their job despite personal risks. Police Commissioner William Bratton said Liu believed that in being a cop, he could help his city and the world safer and fear-free, as he sought those who were suffering and tried to ease that, in his seven years of service. Bratton added that his dedication depicts what the men and women working in the New York Police Department are.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Liu a good man, walking on the path of sacrifice, courage and kindness. However, despite Bratton’s call to refrain doing acts of disrespect, hundreds of officers turned their backs on the mayor, as they did during Ramos’ funeral.
The recent killing of the two NYPD cops fuels the already strained relation between the mayor and the police force. De Blasio is a critic of NYPD during his campaign in 2013. He offered support for protesters who were triggered by the death of two black men – Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York.
Head Patrick Lynch of the city’s biggest police union was scornful of the mayor after the killing of Liu and Ramos. He said there was blood on many hands.
Pei Xia Chen, Liu’s wife of two months calls him her best friend and soul mate. Liu’s 63-year-old father, We Tang Liu told President Eric Adams of Brooklyn Borough, his son was already kind, even to strangers before he was a cop – always helpful, respectful and a very good boy.
In Bowery Street, Chinatown, the elder Liu shared, his son was talking to a friend when he saw an elderly woman who was unable to walk across. Wenjian helped her, in which the friend commented for him being so nice. As a young cop, he saw a man driving around the neighborhood, seemingly without end. When stopped, the man told Wenjian he did not know what he did going around. Wenjian did not call 911 but took the man to a McDonald’s, bought him a burger and escorted him home.
The family is from Guangzhou, China and came to New York in 1994 for the American Dream. The younger Liu already wished to become a cop while still a teenager, and his ambition escalated during 9/11. He became a cop in December 2007.
As slain NYPD Wenjian Liu’s burial was flocked by thousands of officers, friends and loved ones who recognize his being humane and dedication to serve people, Wenjian Liu is cherished by his family as a hardworking man who never failed to take care of his parents.
By Judith Aparri
Photo courtesy of Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916 – Flickr License