There have been reactions to the fatal shooting of two New York City police officers on Saturday by a gunman who, according to authorities, announced online that he was planning to shoot two “pigs” in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner.
The shooting was roundly condemned by mayor Bill de Blasio, President Obama, Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, and others.
Police said Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, walked up to a police car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn at 2:47 p.m. and shot officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos through the passenger side window, fatally striking both in the head. Brinsley then ran to a nearby subway station where he turned the gun on himself, police said.
Police said Brinsley — who has an extensive criminal record — is suspected of shooting and wounding an ex-girlfriend in a Baltimore suburb earlier Saturday before he traveled to New York and ambushed the officers.
While Baltimore County Police sent a fax warning that Brinsley was a suspect in that shooting and might be in New York, that message came in just as Brinsley was carrying out the attack, according to Bratton.
US President Barack Obama has strongly condemned the killings of two New York City police officers shot by a man who then killed himself on Saturday.
Mr Obama said the officers would not be going home to their loved ones “and for that, there is no justification”.
Here are some reactions from different leaders:
“We depend on our police to protect us against forces of criminality and evil. They are a foundation of our society, and when they are attacked, it is an attack on the very concept of decency.”
– Mayor Bill de Blasio
“I unconditionally condemn today’s murder of two police officers in New York City.”
Also: “The officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day — and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day. Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal — prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen.”
– President Barack Obama
“They were, quite simply, assassinated — targeted for their uniform and for the responsibility they embraced to keep the people of this city safe.”
– New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton
“This was an unspeakable act of barbarism, and I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of these two brave officers in the line of duty,” Mr. Holder said in a statement.
“There is blood on many hands, from those that incited violence under the guise of protest to try to tear down what police officers do every day. That blood on the hands starts at the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor.”
– Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch
“As we continue to investigate these senseless acts of violence against two of our city’s heroes, we pray for peace, support the men and women who bravely patrol our streets every day, and mourn for the loss of these two police officers who gave their lives to keep us safe.”
– Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson
“These brave officers, along with the over 34,000 other uniformed men and women of the New York Police Department, put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. They run toward danger when all of our instincts tell us to run away.
– New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
“We have stressed at every rally and march that anyone engaged in any violence is an enemy to the pursuit of justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown.’
– Rev. Al Sharpton
“Gun violence continues to plague our city and we remain committed to working with both members of the community and law enforcement to address it in a nonviolent, peaceful, and productive way.”
– Brooklyn NAACP
, expressed her condolences to the families of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
“I know what they’re going through–to lose a loved one right before the holidays,” she said, asking that protestors rally in non-violent ways.” “My husband was not a violent person…”
– Eric Garner’s widow, Esaw Garner.
“I’m standing here in sorrow,”
“These two police officers lost their lives senselessly,”
– Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr