Tens of thousands of police and other mourners filled a New York City church and nearby streets for the funeral on Saturday of one of two police officers singled out for their uniforms and shot dead a week ago.
Point of view
When an a assassin's bullet targeted two officers, it targeted this city and it touched the soul of the entire nation
Rafael Ramos, who was 40, was killed along with his patrol partner Wenjian Liu.
The US vice-president paid tribute to the dead officer.
“When an a assassin’s bullet targeted two officers, it targeted this city and it touched the soul of the entire nation,” Joe Biden told mourners.
“They were a part of New York’s finest, and that not an idle phrase. This is probably the finest police department in the world. They earned that praise,” he added, to applause.
New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose relations with police have been severely strained, said the officer had believed in protecting others.
As he began to speak at the funeral, some police again demonstrated their disgust at his expression of support for protests against police practices by turning their backs to a large projection screen.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke about how Liu and Ramos represented the diversity of the city’s police department, which has officers of more than 50 nationalities speaking 64 languages, he said.
Ramos, a regular churchgoer, was studying to become a police chaplain.
Relatives and close friends of Ramos recalled him as a man devoted to his church and to calling the people he loved frequently just to see how they were doing.
“Dad, I’ll miss you with every fibre of my being,” his son Justin said at Friday’s memorial service.
Both dead officers have become a rallying point for police who have faced protests accusing the force of racist practices.
Their killer, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had said he was avenging the deaths of unarmed black men shot by police.
He fatally shot himself soon after the attack. Earlier the same day he shot and wounded his former girlfriend.