Bill De Blasio 2 Hours Late to Wake for Slain Officer Rafael Ramos

AP/John Minchillo
AP/John Minchillo

On Friday evening, thousands of New Yorkers attended a memorial service for Rafael Ramos, one of the two NYPD officers assassinated a week ago by an Eric Garner protester. The service brought mourners from every corner of the city. Noticeably late was embattled Mayor Bill de Blasio, who made it to the service only just before its conclusion.

Ramos, 40, and partner Wenjian Liu, 32, were shot to death on December 20 as they sat in their patrol car. Both were murdered by a 28-year-old named Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley who claimed he was avenging the death of a man who died after police used a choke hold on him as he resisted arrest in July.

Also in attendance were contingents from dozens of Police departments from as far away as Ohio, Georgia, and Maine—all of whom came to show support for the fallen officer, his family, and their fellow police officers in the NYPD.

17 massive floral displays, one bearing the fallen officer’s shield number and another the NYPD seal, adorned Christ Tabernacle Church on Myrtle Avenue in Queens. The floral arrangements sent to the church extended from wall to wall.

During the ceremony, Ramos’s son Justin said, “Dad, I’m forever grateful for the sacrifices you’ve made to provide for me and Jayden… I’ll miss you with every fiber of my being.”

“My father was a hero, Justin continued. “I couldn’t have asked for a better role model.”

Among those in attendance were New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo; former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani; state attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman; Congressman Peter King; and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan. Noticeably late was New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio arrived only a short time before the service ended. He arrived around 9 PM to the wake, which started at 7 PM—so late that many assumed he had decided to skip the service, and some early news reports had said he did not attend.

De Blasio’s reputation has taken a major hit during this sad incident. Only days prior to the murder of the two officers, the mayor was heard forcefully speaking out against his own police department and in support of the anti-cop demonstrators.

His attacks on the police caused many officers to demand an apology. The NY police union even warned de Blasio that he wasn’t wanted at any future police funerals because of his verbal attacks. Even as the funerals and memorial services for the slain officers were being planned on Friday, an airplane pulled a banner over the city that read: “De Blasio, our backs have turned to you.”

There have also been growing calls for de Blasio to resign as mayor.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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