NYC mourns slain NYPD officer

Updated: 2015-01-04 06:28

By NIU YUE in New York(China Daily USA)

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NYC mourns slain NYPD officer

Slain NYPD officer Wenjian Liu's wake ceremony is held at Aievoli Funeral Home in Brooklyn on Saturday. Lu Huiquan / For China Daily

Thousands of New Yorkers lined up to pay tribute to fallen NYPD officer Wenjian Liu at his wake ceremony on Saturday, despite heavy rain.

The ceremony was held at Aievoli Funeral Home in Brooklyn from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Media was denied access per Liu's family request, but people who paid respect said Buddhist rituals were performed, with candles, incense and lotus lights. Family members of Liu, dressed in black, were seated in a room to receive condolences.

Residents and businesses around the funeral home were also showing their support by hanging blue ribbons outside their homes.

"It is the time when police officers need public support most," said Sharon Li, who came to pay her respect and never knew him until Liu's death. "We came to the wake to show our support towards the NYPD," she added.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also came to offer condolences with several other officers, but did not give any public speech on Saturday.

Liu, 32, and his colleague Rafael Ramos, 40, were shot dead in their patrol car on Dec 20 in Brooklyn by Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

Brinsley posted on social network about his revenge plan for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. He committed suicide in a nearby subway station after shooting the two policemen.

Liu's funeral will be held at the same place on Sunday and is expected to have a mix of Chinese and NYPD traditions. More than 20,000 police officers across the United States are expected to attend the funeral, said Martin Golden, New York State Senator.

"When it happens here, it happens to us," said Hannu Tarjamo, one of some 20 officers from Los Angeles Police Department who came to New York for Liu's wake and funeral. The murder of Liu and Ramos was "an act of savagery that should be condemned by society," he said.

"They protect us and protect our community," said Tina Smith, who came to pay respect to Liu on Saturday. "It's sad that at the New Year's time, they don't have their loved ones anymore."

Liu, 32, migrated to the United States with his family from southeast China's Guangdong province in 1994. He had been serving as an NYPD officer for several years and had previously worked as a police auxiliary.

"We came to the US and then joined the police, with the same dream and career. When I knew his story, it was just looking at me thirty years ago," said Wu Yachang, a retired NYPD detective with over two decades' service in police.

Aids have been pouring in since the incident. Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation, a non-profit organization helping veterans and firefighters, has announced to pay mortgages of both Liu and Ramos' families. More than $600,000 out of its $800,000 goal had been raised by Friday. Chinese communities have also been raising money for the Liu family.

On Dec 31, de Blasio announced to co-name West 6th Street and Ridgewood Avenue in Brooklyn "Detective Wenjian Liu Way" and "Detective Rafael Ramos Way", respectively. The blocks are where the two officers' respective homes are based.

Lu Huiquan in New York contributed to this story.

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