Vigil at 49th Precinct honors slain officers

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Alex Nilaj of the Morris Park Patrol observe a moment of silence.
Photo by Walter Pofeldt

More than 100 community members gathered outside the 49th Precinct on Monday, January 5 to mourn the two New York Police Department officers killed in December.

The candlelight vigil, organized by the precinct’s community council, drew a crowd who huddled in the cold to stand with the officers who protect their neighborhoods and support them in their grief.

On December 20, detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were assassinated while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn.

“The NYPD has very heavy hearts, we lost two of our brothers,” said 49th Precinct commander Captain Timothy McCormack.

Ramos and Liu were good officers who worked hard to make this city a better place, said McCormack.

“I thank them for what they did,” he said. “I thank them for their service.”

Local clergy led the crowd in prayers and a moment of silence in the candlelight.

“Tonight we come together as a community to honor our fallen heros,” said Pastor Jay Gooding. “Tonight we’re praying for the families, for those who have lost their loved ones.”

The vigil was also well attended by local representatives: Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Councilman Andy King, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and Councilman James Vacca

“Though they haven’t spoken, their presence means so much to us here in the NYPD,” said McCormack. “I thank you for coming out, I thank you for praying with us.”

The strong community presence showed an ever important support for the police, said community council president Joe Thompson.

“This kind of outpouring of love and affection makes me so proud,” said Thompson.

“It was heartwarming to see so many people come out on such a frigid night,” said Community Affairs officer Detective Victor DiPierro. “People of all ages braved the cold to stand with us.”

The officers are grieving, said DiPierro, but they’re grateful for the kind words and actions of community members, as well as from the fire department.

“We hope for a more peaceful 2015 and beyond,” he said.

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at 718-260-4591. E-mail her at jwill‌iams@‌cnglo‌
Former NYC Correction Department Commissioner Joe Ramos places a flower on the memorial.
Photo by Walter Pofeldt

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