Monday, December 22, 2014

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NYPD Remains Vigilant as Memorials Grow for Slain Officers

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TWC News: NYPD Remains Vigilant as Memorials Grow for Slain Officers
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As New Yorkers keep paying tribute to the two NYPD officers gunned down over the weekend, the department is making some changes designed to keep police safe.

Officers going out on foot patrol will now be working in pairs.

Patrols by auxiliary officers have been suspended.

The department is also ramping up security at station houses across the city.


The President of the Detectives’ Endowment Association sent a message out to detectives urging them to be cautious.

Michael Palladino urged detectives to wear their bullet proof vests and suggested staying in groups of three.

In the message, Palladino reminds detectives to be aware of their surroundings saying, "The real threat may not even come from those with whom you are engaged."

Police say officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were sitting in their patrol car on the corner of Myrtle and Tompkins Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant Saturday afternoon when 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley approached the car and opened fire, killing them both. He then fled on foot before killing himself in a nearby subway station as police closed in.
Before coming to the city, police say Brinsley shot his former girlfriend in Maryland, and made anti-police statements about the death of Eric Garner from her Instagram account.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Sunday that Brinsley had a lengthy rap sheet and had served time, and that his family said he had a history of undiagnosed mental illness.


Boyce also said that Brinsley had a conversation with two man on the street right before the deadly shooting.

"The perpetrator, just prior to the event, he begins the conversation with them, they start speaking and he asks them three things," Boyce said. "He asks them for their gang affiliation, he asks them to follow him on Instagram, and then he says watch what I'm going to do."

Police say Brinsley, who himself had no known connection to gangs, then approached the police car and opened fire.

Authorities say that Brinsley, who was born in Brooklyn and attended high school in New Jersey, was in the city earlier this week -- but it's unclear if he took part in any of the police brutality protests surrounding the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police earlier this year.

The Police Commissioner and Mayor Bill de Blasio have called the broad daylight killing an assassination.

Appearing on "The Today Show" Monday morning, Bratton said he does not think officers should have turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio on Saturday but admitted that he thinks the mayor has lost the trust and support of some officers.

Bratton said there are a number of reasons for the growing tension between police and the mayor including recent attacks on officers and anger over ongoing contract negotiations.

"But we are in a change moment I think is the term here in the United States and the idea is to take out of this crisis, find opportunity to move it forward and I think that can happen. Its why I came back into the department more than a year ago and we will seize on this tragedy, we will seize on on all of these issues and we'll move forward," Bratton said.

Bratton went on to say he does not think any of the mayor's recent actions or comments has led to an increased threat against the NYPD.

Meantime, family and friends of Officer Ramos gathered Sunday outside of his childhood home in Cyprus Hills to mourn the 40-year-old married father of two.

Ramos' aunt, Lucy Ramos, praised members of the community for their support and urged New Yorkers to come together in the wake of her nephews death.

"I would like to thank all those who have shared their sympathy and support for our beloved family member Rafael Ramos who will always be loved and missed by many. I hope and pray that we can reflect on this tragic loss of lives that have occurred so that we can move forward and find an amicable path to a peaceful co-existence," Ramos said.

"He would help you, he would go beyond to help you. He was a man of God. He loved his family, he loved the community he helped everybody its just sad the way things happen in this world. But like I said we've got to stop the violence, we've got to love each other, we've got to help each other," said Ramos' cousin, Robert Gonzales.

Police Commissioner William Bratton also visited the memorial outside to pay his respects to the fallen officers. He spoke about what it means to people in the neighborhood and the NYPD.

"It's a reflection that the community cares about the cops. The police department, the police I get to lead are very appreciative of the community outpouring. And I just wanted to join in that this afternoon. So its nice to see its here," Bratton said.

Some state lawmakers want to see police cars across the state retrofitted with bullet proof glass.

State Senator Marty Golden, Assembly Woman Nicole Malliotakis and two other elected officials are preparing to introduce the legislation in the next session.

It would require all vehicles to have bullet-proof glass to better protect the cops that keep the city safe.

The glass would be installed across the state over time, starting with the NYPD.

Elected-officials propose using part of the $5.1 billion state surplus to pay for the retrofit.

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