Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro on Thursday urged New Yorkers and others across the nation to donate to a New York Daily News fund for the families of the two slain NYPD officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
“At times like these, New Yorkers know what to do,” De Niro told the Daily News. “Thank you for joining me in contributing to the Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos families.”
The Daily News reports that its fund has already collected just over $240,000 for the families of the two officers, who were shot dead as they sat in their marked patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn on December 20. Liu, 32, had been married for just three months when he was killed, while Ramos, 40, left behind a wife and two sons.
“It’s not only our brave policemen and women who sacrifice for us, it’s also their families,” De Niro added. “They’ve done their duty, and now it’s time to do ours.”
The Daily News shared some donation data from their fund. The Brooklyn Nets, Associated Press, and Modell’s Sporting Goods all contributed, as did individuals across all five boroughs, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The largest donation so far is a $10,000 contribution from an anonymous donor.
Individual donors shared messages of support with their contributions.
“As the father of 3 sons, I could not imagine or deal wit the risks the men and women of the NYPD face daily,” donor James O’Neill of East Norwich, L.I. wrote.
“May Officers Ramos and Liu forever rest in peace, and their families know they are not alone in their grief,” Lawrence and Evelyn Macchia, of Queens, New York, wrote to the News. “May this never happen again.”
“Please bless and comfort the families of these two police officers,” wrote Victor Perez of Lynbrook, L.I. “Please help to heal the split that currently is dividing our country on many levels.”