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Thousands remember slain NYPD officer Wenjian Liu

Despite Bratton’s warning, some officers turn back to mayor during eulogy

The second officer who was gunned down in Bed-Stuy 15 days ago has been laid to rest.

The streets outside Aievoli Funeral Home in Bensonhurst were filled with thousands of mourners from New York City and beyond Sunday morning, who came to pay their respect to Det. Wenjian Liu.

Uniformed officers in dress blues from the NYPD and other local and national agencies stretched down 65th Street from 13th Avenue to 18th Avenue -- enough to make a passing officer gasp and point at the sight -- and down local side streets.

Signs on businesses closed for the services, and in windows in nearby houses, read “RIP” and “God Bless the NYPD.”

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Liu was remembered as a model officer who personified the American dream.

"Officer Liu believed in the possibility of making a safer world - all cops do," Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said at the funeral. Both Liu and Ramos were "murdered for their color, slain because they were blue,” Bratton said.

Bratton posthumously promoted both Liu and partner Rafael Ramos to the rank of detective at Ramos’ funeral on Dec. 27.

“Det. Liu lifted all of us up in the too-brief time we were fortunate enough to have him with us. And New York City stands a little taller today because he walked among us,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his eulogy.

The mayor said Liu loved to go fishing and share the catch with his family, and would call his father after every shift to let him know he was safe at home.

Some police officers standing farther away from the funeral home turned their backs on de Blasio as he spoke, despite a reported request by Bratton last week that they refrain from doing so.

John Mangin, who retired from the NYPD in 2002, stood near the funeral home with a sign reading “God Bless NYPD, dump de Blasio.” Mangin said he stood facing forward while de Blasio spoke.

“These cops do a great job everyday, they probably do a hundred great things a week … it’s a very difficult job, it’s a lot harder when the big man doesn’t support you,” Mangin said, referring to de Blasio.

​​Liu's wife Pei Xia Chen remembered her husband of only three months as her hero, soulmate and best friend.

"He was fearless in and out of work," she said, and “objective in his determination of the law.”

"I thank you my extended family, my family of blue," she added.

The service followed last week's funeral for Officer Ramos, during which hundreds of officers outside the Queens ceremony turned their backs during de Blasio’s eulogy.

De Blasio’s address focused on Liu's life, avoiding any mention of the weeks of demonstrations for police reform which police unions say encouraged the officers’ killer to target them.

After the funeral service, Liu’s casket was carried out as thousands of officers stood in salute. The police flag was folded and given to Liu’s widow.

Robert Samuel, a local resident, said he walked over to 65th Street with his family to play his part in the tribute.

“It’s just really sad,” Samuel said.

 
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