Vigil held for slain NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu
The Orange County community came together Friday night in support of a murdered NYPD officer a day before his wake.
People gathered for a candlelight vigil at Memorial Park for NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
Liu's wake will be held Saturday at Aievoli Funeral Home at 1275 65th St. in Brooklyn from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. His funeral will be held the next day at the same location.
Laura Dowling, who is a member of the NYPD and lives in Washingtonville, along with many active and retired officers, felt that the vigil was needed to show gratitude to the men and women of law enforcement.
"I just felt the community was hurting and this is just the right way to do it," said Dowling.
In the aftermath of the controversial deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Gardner and nationwide protests about allegations of police brutality, retired Police Officer Paddy O'Leary believes that anti-police rhetoric has taken a toll on officers.
"You don't know who to trust and it just makes your job that much harder because you can't really do anything without people criticizing you," said O'Leary.
"They are the first ones who are going to try and come between you danger and death and they should be respected for it," said Washingtonville Mayor David Heintz, who attended the vigil.
Officer Ramos was laid to rest last week. Both men were posthumously promoted to detective after they were fatally shot by Ismaaiyl Brinsley as they sat in their patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn on Dec. 20.
Brinsley, whose family said he suffered from mental illness, then ran to a subway station and fatally shot himself.