It has been hard to be a police officer in America after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and two NYPD officers were killed in retaliation for the failure of grand juries to indict officers in relation to their deaths. In retaliation, two NYPD officers were killed by a civilian on Dec. 20.
One of those slain NYPD officers though, received an emotional sendoff Friday, as officers, civilians, and others gathered to say goodbye to the fallen.
Officer Rafael Ramos, 40, was one officer killed in the line of duty. Ramos was said to be a devoted member of the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens, and his funeral is expected to draw thousands according to the New York Daily News. Ramos was an active member in the church, which he attended for the past 14 years with his wife and two sons.
“Ralph was one of the faithful ushers who made Christ Tabernacle feel like home,” said executive pastor Rev. Adam Durso. “He loved his family and his church.”
Police officers from all over the country are also said to be in attendance for Ramos’s funeral. ABC News has reported JetBlue has flown about 670 law enforcement officers from all over the country to New York City so they can show their support for the fallen officer. The airline company also said they are offering free transportation for those officers across the nation who wish to attend the funeral.
Vice President Joe Biden has also said he would be in attendance for Ramos’s funeral on Saturday.
Mayor Bil de Blasio, who NYPD officers have said has “blood on his hands” for the killings of the two officers, has said, according to Reuters, he hopes the funerals for both officers will help in reuniting the broken city.
The funeral arrangements for Officer Wenjian Liu, who was killed alongside Ramos, have not yet been announced as federal agents have begun to help transport his family members from China to America for his funeral.