In what appears to be a revenge for cop killings of black men, two New York police Department police officers were on Saturday afternoon shot in head while sitting in their patrol car by a black gunman who later killed himself.
According to the New York police, the gunman who was a black, walked up to the two officers named Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos who were sitting inside the patrol car in Brooklyn and opened fire before running into a nearby subway station and shooting himself in the head.
“While sitting in a marked NYPD police car, in full uniform, both were ambushed and murdered in front of 98 Tompkins Avenue in the Bedford Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York City,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.
The shooter is said to be a 28-year-old black named Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who had earlier posted threatening messages against police and also shot at his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore. He is also said to have made anti-police posts from her Instagram account. According to an Associated Press report, the gunman “had announced online he planned to shoot two ‘pigs’ in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner”.
The incident comes at a time when US cities have witnessed fierce protests over police killings of black men that were aggravated in wake of grand juries not charging white police officers in shooting cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
President Barack Obama condemned the killing “unconditionally” and urged the people to reject violence and “words that harm” and to “turn to the words that heal”.
President Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii, stated, “Two brave men won’t be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification”. He added that police offers risk their own safety to serve and protect their communities and that they deserve the public’s respect and gratitude.
Mourning the death of the two cops, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said that they were targeted for their uniform and ‘assassinated’ without any warning or provocation.
“It’s sometime difficult to find the words to speak to events like those that occurred today, to try and make sense of them,” Bratton said.