Police turn their backs on Mayor de Blasio. Hundreds of police officers outside the Queens, N.Y. church Saturday where the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos was being held turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio as he eulogized the fallen officer who was ambushed last week along with his partner.
More than 25,000 police officers from across the country assembled in winter sunshine to pay final respects to Ramos, a seven-year veteran of the NYPD. The long sea of blue stretched more than six city blocks.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told the mourners they knew who officer Ramos was. “Father, son, brother and husband,” he said. “He was a New Yorker. He was a New York City police officer. He was a hero.”
Bratton said Ramos and his partner were assassinated because of who they were. “They were killed for their color,” the commissioner said. “They were blue.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the shooting of the two officers “an attack on all of us.”
The large contingent of mourners in blue began showing up at the church early.
“He was studying to be a pastor. He had Bible study books in his locker, which is rare for a police officer, but that goes to show you the type of man he was,” NYPD Capt. Sergio Centa said before entering the church.
When the Ramos family arrived, the eldest son — wearing his father’s New York Police Department jacket — was hugged by a police officer.
The officers were killed Dec. 20 while sitting in their patrol car on a street in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant section. Investigators have said the gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, was troubled and had shot and wounded an ex-girlfriend in Baltimore earlier that day.
“What happened to my father was a tragedy,” Ramos’ son, Justin, said in a tearful eulogy viewed by hundreds of officers in the street who watched on giant television screens outside the crowded church. “But his death will not be in vain.”