1000s expected at NY policeman's funeral

2014-12-27 16:46
A memorial in front of the New York police department for slain cops Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. (Michael Graae, AFP)

A memorial in front of the New York police department for slain cops Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. (Michael Graae, AFP)

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New York - Thousands of people, including US Vice President Joe Biden, are set to attend the funeral on Saturday of one of two New York officers shot dead in apparent revenge for recent police killings of unarmed black men.

Rafael Ramos was shot dead alongside his partner Wenjian Liu on 20 December on the heels of nationwide protests accusing police of racism and using excessive force against black people.

The incident has sparked a backlash movement against the protesters - and against officials seen as supporting them over police.

It has also brought to the forefront tensions between New York City's 3 000-strong police force and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio has been considered by some in law enforcement as too sympathetic to the anti-police violence demonstrators.

Despite calls from the mayor for a truce until after the funeral, a small plane reportedly flew over the Hudson River on Friday in New York carrying a banner reading "de Blasio, our backs have turned to you".

Ramos, 40, a married father of two, was killed while sitting with Liu in their marked patrol car outside a public housing project in Brooklyn. Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, shot the two police officers and then killed himself on a subway platform a short time later.

Just prior to the shooting, Brinsley had posted comments on social media service Instagram threatening police, referring to two black men killed by officers in New York and Ferguson, Missouri.

The funeral of the second policeman, Liu, who has family coming from China, has not yet been scheduled.

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