The New York Post reports that:
Two uniformed NYPD officers were shot dead Saturday afternoon as they sat in their marked police car on a Brooklyn street corner — in what investigators believe was a crazed gunman’s assassination-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown.I pray that God blesses and comforts the families of the victims. May God forgive them for their sins and bless with eternal peace. I strongly condemn Brinsley's heinous and cowardly crimes.
"No warning, no provocation — they were quite simply assassinated, targeted for their uniform,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said.
Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill in Bedford-Stuyvesant just before 3 p.m. when they were shot point-blank in the head by lone gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, who had addresses in Georgia, Maryland and Brooklyn.
Moments after killing the two officers, Brinsley, too, was dead, having turned his gun on himself on a nearby subway platform as cops closed in.
Liu, 32, a newlywed of only two months, had seven years on the force; Ramos, 40, dad to two sons, had two years on the job.
Brinsley was already a fugitive, suspected of putting a bullet in his ex-girlfriend’s abdomen at her residence in Baltimore at 5:45 a.m. Saturday, Bratton said.
By early Saturday afternoon — just three hours before shooting Liu and Ramos — vile anti-police threats were posted to Brinsley’s Instagram page. The threats referenced the recent police-involved killings of Garner and Brown.
“I’m Putting Wings on Pigs Today,” a person believed to be the gunman wrote. “They Take 1 Of Ours . . . Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” the post continued, ending with, “This May Be My Final Post.”
The Instagram page included an image of a silver automatic handgun with a wooden handle.
That gun matches the Taurus semiautomatic that police recovered from Brinsley. Another image showed the same camouflage pants and distinctive blue sneakers worn by the gunman as his body was carried from the scene on a stretcher.
“I Rather Die a Gangster Then Go To Sleep A Coward,” read another post.
The sickening missives used the hashtag #ShootThePolice, along with two other hashtags referencing Garner and Brown.
Police in Baltimore had reached out via a “warning flier” to alert NYPD that Brinsley might be en route to Brooklyn, but the fax tragically arrived at 2:45 p.m. — five minutes before the shooting, Bratton said. “The tragedy here was that just as the warning was coming in, the murder was occurring,” Bratton said.
Ismaaiyl Brinsley was a suicidal, career criminal looking for a way to give the last moments of his pathetic life meaning. To do so, he latched on the movement like a blood sucking leech latches on to the leg of an unsuspecting host. He attempted to hijack the movement like the 9/11 terrorists hijacked the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. Brinsley did not really act on behalf of the movement. His act was a sick, despicable, selfish, narcissistic act of desperation. This tragedy has absolute nothing to do with the movement.
In response to this tragedy, the police union blamed protesters and Mayor Bill de Blasio for the violence. CBS New York reports that:
“There’s blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on the streets under the guise of protest that tried to tear down what NYPD officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said. “That blood on the hands starts at City Hall in the office of the mayor.”Recently, in light of the death of Eric Garner and Mike Brown, Mayor De Blasio expressed a genuine concern about the safety of his biracial son . As you may know, activists have been marching in the streets of New York for weeks demanding justice of Eric Garner.
“Those who allowed this to happen will be held accountable,” he added.
The Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted: “The blood of 2 executed police officers is on the hands of Mayor de Blasio. May God bless their families and may they rest in peace.”
Instead of addressing the Mayor's and the community's concerns, NYPD cops literally turned their backs on the mayor and the community. Again, the police blamed activists and the Mayor for a crime that had nothing to do with them. The response of the police union is truly disgraceful. They are exploiting and pimping this tragedy to stifle, discredit and destroy the legitimate demands for justice. The overwhelming majority of protesters are nonviolent. Protest leaders such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others have universally condemned Brinsley's senseless act of violence. His crime is not their fault.
Contrary to the assertions of the police union and others, the movement is not against all police officers. The movement is against police brutality and misconduct. All people of good will, including police officers, should oppose police brutality and misconduct as well. Such practices erode public trust and confidence. Police brutality and the failed criminal justice system breed fear, hatred and mistrust thereby making communities and police officers less safe.
When Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were killed, the NYPD and the nation mourned their loss and prayed for the families of the victims. They saluted the deceased for their bravery and sacrifice. In the eyes of the NYPD and the nation, those officers lives were viewed as sacred and precious.
On the other hand, when Eric Garner was choked to death on camera, the police defended the killer. In the eyes of many police officers and citizens, Eric Garner's life simply did not matter. In America, black lives do not matter. If they did matter, we would not have to march around with signs stating that "#BlackLivesMatter". Many view our lives are worthless, disposal and expendable. As far as they are concerned, a cigarette butt has more value. For some, the death of Eric Garner is a source of
amusement, a punchline for kicks and giggles. To make mockery of the Eric Garner's death, some police officers wore "I Can Breathe" T-shirts. That is a disturbing display of their utter disregard for Mr. Garner's life and our lives.
All human life is precious. If the police valued all human life as much as they value their fellow officers' lives, there would be no police brutality. There would be no police harassment. Eric Garner, Mike Brown and countless others would still be alive. Instead of coddling and protecting killers, cops should stand up and prevent fellow officers from using excessive force. Instead, they adhere to a rigid and unjust blue code of silence.
Finally, in light of the police union's reaction, the movement should brace for increased police infiltration, provocation, harassment and brutality. We must be aware of agent provocateurs in our mist. Agent provocateurs are police informants who attempt to incite activists to engage in violence and other illegal activities. After inciting activists to engage in such illegality, the agent provocateurs entrap, imprison and discredit the activists. Ultimately, the movement is discredited and neutralized.
We must stay focused. Our cause is righteous and just. We cannot rest until police brutality ends. Justice for Eric Garner, Mike Brown and everyone else.