On Saturday, the city of New York held the funeral services for fallen officer Rafael Ramos at the Queens church which he attended. Some 25,000 police officers from across the country came to Officer Ramos’ funeral at the Christ Tabernacle Church, where Ramos was a regular attender. At his funeral Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton all spoke glowingly of Officer Ramos and his partner Wenjian Liu.
In a beautiful service that stretched for over 2 hours, friends, family and coworkers gathered to remember a good man who had worked hard to help whomever he could, whenever he could.
Mayor de Blasio may have summed it up best when he said, “All of this city is grieving and grieving for so many reasons. But the most personal is that we lost such a good man.”
Vice President Biden added, “Being a cop was not what they did, it was who they were like every man and woman in uniform today and they, like every one of you here and outside, all joined for the same reason. When an assassin’s bullet targeted two officers, it targeted this city and it touched the soul of an entire nation… I believe this police force will show the nation how to bridge any divide.”
Our hearts are heavy today as we lay to rest one of our Finest, Police Officer Ramos. We will never forget. pic.twitter.com/avKWp5BJtR
— Commissioner Bratton (@CommissBratton) December 27, 2014
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton took his opportunity to speak to posthumously promote both officers to Detective first grade and to appoint Officer Ramos as an honorary department chaplain – a post he was working hard to pursue in life. He told those gathered that they all knew who Officer Ramos was, “Father, son, brother and husband. He was a New Yorker. He was a New York City police officer. He was a hero.”
He also added, “They were killed for their color. They were blue.”
Officer Ramos’ son, Justin, spoke eloquently about his beloved father. “What happened to my father was a tragedy, but his death will not be in vain. My dad was a hero. He touched so many lives and will continue to do so.”
The entire event was moving and heartfelt, but there was more happening than just the funeral for a fallen hero. The rough and tumble politics of New York City were also at play, as the tug-of-war between the Mayor’s office and the NYPD could not be hidden from the event.
Outside of the church, hundreds of NYPD officers turned their backs on video monitors as Mayor Bill de Blasio rose to speak. The NYPD have taken several opportunities to use this bit of theater to express their displeasure with Mayor de Blasio and his decision to seemingly support protesters at the expense of supporting the NYPD.
Retired NYPD officer John Mangan attended the funeral and held up a sign expressing his anger with the Mayor. The sign read, “God Bless the NYPD. Dump de Blasio.”
“If the mayor really wanted to do the right thing, he would have gotten into an NYPD car and rode around Bed Stuy and see the difficult jobs these cops do every day. The bottom line is there should be more signs out here in support of these cops,” former officer Mangan said.