Streets to Be Renamed for NYPD Officers Killed in Brooklyn Ambush

New York City plans to honor the two police officers murdered by a gunman as they sat in their squad car in Brooklyn earlier this month by naming streets near their homes for them.

Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced the plan Wednesday. The council is expected to take up the proposal next month.

Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot dead in their patrol car Dec. 20 in Bedford-Stuyvesant by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who fatally shot himself in a nearby subway shortly after the ambush.

The new "Detective Rafael Ramos Way" and "Detective Wenjian Liu Way" would be on the Brooklyn blocks where the officers lived. Liu lived on West Sixth Street, and Ramos on Ridgewood Avenue.

The officers were posthumously promoted to the rank of detective.

“Our fallen heroes will never be forgotten. Their memory lives on in their families, and in the NYPD family. And now it will live on in the streets of the communities these brave men lived in and protected," de Blasio said in a statement. "This is an expression of our pride in each of these men, and our sadness at their loss."

Tens of thousands of colleagues, friends and officials from across the country mourned Ramos at a funeral Saturday in which Vice President Joe Biden and other dignitaries spoke. Liu will be laid to rest Sunday in Brooklyn. FBI Director James Comey will attend that service, the White House said Wednesday. 

Brinsley suggested in online posts that the officers' deaths were in retaliation for the police-involved deaths of Eric Garner on Staten Island and 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Grand juries declined to indict the officers in both cases, prompting protests across the city and the country. Police unions have criticized de Blasio as too sympathetic to protesters and accused him of fostering an anti-NYPD atmosphere that contributed to the deaths of the officers in Brooklyn.

The mayor met Tuesday with the heads of the five unions representing NYPD officers to begin repairing a rift that has widened in recent weeks. The de Blasio administration said the summit promoted productive dialogue. The union heads said there didn't appear to be any resolve to their concerns about NYPD safety, but that "time will tell" as to whether the mayor acts on his pledges to protect them.  

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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