Funeral set for Officer Wenjian Liu
Updated: 2014-12-29 13:24
By Niu Yue and William Hennelly in New York(China Daily USA)
US Vice-President Joe Biden visits the late NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu's father on Dec 27 after attending Officer Rafael Ramos' funeral. Biden said to Liu's father: "You are not alone. They [the police] are your family [for your] whole life and forever." He then told the police officers there: "You have to take care of them [Liu's family] now." "Yes, we will," said the officers. Provided By Sing Tao Daily
Police stood guard outside the home of slain New York City Police Officer Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn on Sunday, whose funeral will be held on Jan 4.
A wake will be held Saturday, Jan 3, from 1 to 9 p.m. at the Aievoli Funeral Home in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, the New York Daily News reported Sunday, saying that the funeral will take place the next day at an undisclosed location.
"We come here to show our support," said one NYPD officer, who asked not to be identified.
"He (Liu) was a very low-profile person and always happy," said Sophia He, a grocery owner and neighbor of the Liu family in Gravesend, Brooklyn. "We did not know he was a police officer until recently."
The funeral for Liu's partner, Rafael Ramos was held on Saturday in Queens and attended by as many as 20,000 people, including US Vice-President Joe Biden and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
"When an assassin's bullet targeted two officers, it targeted this city and it touched the soul of an entire nation," Biden said in the eulogy.
Both Liu, a native of Canton, China, and Ramos were posthumously promoted to detective by the NYPD.
Biden met with members of the Liu family on Saturday, and was pictured in the Daily News embracing Liu's father. He personally greeted all nine police officers standing guard outside the Liu home, the News reported.
"You guys are really the best damn force in America," Biden told the officers.
Liu's widow, Pei Xia Chen, had given a tearful press conference outside their home in Brooklyn last week.
Liu's family said in a statement on Dec 22 that they had come to New York from Canton, China, 20 years ago, when Wenjian Liu was 12.
"He arrived to America and attended Lafayette High School where he learned to speak English," the statement said. "He then went on to study at Kingsboro Community College and the College of Staten Island majoring in Accounting. Traditionally, Asian families want their children to become professionals in the field of medicine or finance."
But the young Liu chose public service, joining the Auxiliary Police in 2006 before graduating from the Police Academy in 2007.
The statement also said: "Wen Jian was active within the Police Department. He was an asset to the Police Department using his Chinese Language skills whenever and wherever it was needed. When he was off duty, he participated in the social and fraternal functions with the NYPD Asian Jade Society, where he has been a member since 2007. Wen Jian married Pei Xia Chen in September of this year. He was looking forward to having his own family. Wen Jian is proud to be a New York City Police Officer."
Liu, 32, and Ramos, 40, were shot to death Dec 20 in their squad car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who later shot himself to death on a subway platform as police approached. Brinsley, 28, shot his girlfriend earlier that same day in Baltimore, and later posted a picture and words on Instragram about the shooting. He then said he was going to put "wings on pigs", a reference to killing police officers in retaliation for the high-profile deaths this summer involving police of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner on Staten Island.
Both families have been the recipients of an outpouring of financial support. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, named for a firefighter killed on Sept 11, 2001, is looking to raise $800,000 to pay off the mortgages on the houses for both men's families. They have raised $70,000 so far. A Daily News fund has raised $100,000 to go to Ramos' wife and two young sons, and Liu's widow.
JetBlue offered free flights to officers outside New York area so they could attend the funerals. Officers came from as far away as Los Angeles for Ramos' service.
JetBlue is asking that other airlines help Liu's relatives fly for free from China to New York for his funeral.
"We're honored to do what we can to support the communities we serve, and our team has made flights available to law enforcement agencies across our route network who wish to send representatives to New York to support their brethren," New York-based JetBlue said in a statement.
Lu Huiquan contributed to this story.