Family, Friends Remember Slain NYPD Officer at Wake

Paterson, Sharpton visit officer's family

The outpouring of grief for an NYPD officer shot in a friendly-fire incident by a fellow officer continued at a wake in Brooklyn today.

The wake for 25-year-old Officer Omar Edwards began late Tuesday afternoon, and services will resume Wednesday at the Woodward Funeral Home in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

A funeral director said Edwards' widow, Danielle, is so grief-stricken that her father has had to make all the arrangements, according to the New York Daily News.

"She is very devastated and I feel so sorry for her," Patricia Bethea-Dallas of the Woodward Funeral Home told The News. "Ask her anything about her husband, she started crying."

The slain officer's funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church.

Edwards was shot by a fellow officer while chasing a man who broke into his car in Harlem.

Gov. David Paterson and the Rev. Al Sharpton visited with the rookie officer's family on Monday.

Edwards also left behind two young children when he was shot on a Harlem street last week. Paterson and Sharpton met late Monday afternoon with his wife Danielle and family in Brooklyn.

"We as human beings feel and have empathy for their circumstances and compassion for the difficulty now of raising children," Paterson said.

The father of Shawn Bell, who was shot dead by NYPD officers in November 2006, also visited the Edwards family.

"We had prayer with the (Edwards) family and (William Bell) offered to give the family whatever assistance was available to him," Sharpton said.

Added Bell: "I thought because I lost my son and they lost theirs, I should come."

Sharpton continues to call for federal and state investigations into the crime, claiming that race was behind the shooting. Edwards was black, and the fellow officer who shot him, Andrew Dunton, is white. 

Paterson told reporters later that it would be interesting to examine the circumstances surrounding friendly fire shootings.

The governor said the shooting was not deliberate.

He stopped short of saying race was a factor. Edwards was black; the officer who shot him is white.

Edwards was in street clothes chasing a man and had his service weapon out when three plainclothes officers on routine patrol yelled for the two to stop. Dunton opened fire and hit Edwards three times, but it wasn't until medical workers arrived that it was determined the victim was a police officer.
Over the weekend, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel said President Obama, visiting New York with his wife Saturday, better "make certain he doesn't run around in East Harlem without identification."

Mayor Bloomberg ripped Rangel, who offered an apology Monday.

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