Crowds of police officers in dress uniform and other mourners lined up for blocks at a New York City church to pay their respects to Rafael Ramos, one of two NYPD police officers shot by a man claiming to be avenging the deaths of unarmed black men by police.
Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were slain last Saturday while sitting in their parked patrol car in Brooklyn. The officers were targeted for their uniform, and represent only the seventh time police partners have been killed together in New York City in over 40 years, according to Reuters.
Ramos’s coffin arrived at Christ Tabernacle Church draped in the New York Police Department’s green, blue and white flag. The coffin was carried into the church that he regularly attended in the Queens neighborhood.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Ralph Castillo” author_title=”Reverend at Christ Tabernacle”]
Today we weep with the Ramos family, the New York Police Department and the nation as we mourn the loss of our dear brother. He was a gift to our church.
Thousands of people, including officers from around the country, lined up outside of the church for hours. Ramos’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday. Vice President Joe Biden said he will attend, according to the Huffington Post.
Ramos was studying to be a pastor and had Bible study books in his locker at the police station, according to NYPD Captain Sergio Centra.
JetBlue confirmed that they have flown in 670 police officers from around the country with free transportation to attend Ramos’s funeral. JetBlue offered free flights to relatives and two members of any law enforcement agency in the country to attend the funerals of the two policemen who were slain.
JetBlue said it is working with another airline to fly Liu’s family members in from China to attend his funeral, which has not yet been scheduled, according to TIME.