Authorities in New York City are monitoring threats made against police since two officers were fatally shot on Saturday, and are upping security at some stationhouses.
The gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, shot and killed Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in their patrol car before committing suicide. He had posted messages on social media suggesting the assault was revenge for deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of authorities.
Investigators are sifting through the current threats and are determining which ones are serious and which ones are pranks. There have been at least two arrests.
The New York Times reports: Heavily heavily armed officers stood guard outside a pair of precinct stationhouses in Brooklyn that were the targets of specific violent threats. Officials felt enough concern that the Fire Department moved an entire engine company from its base adjacent to one of the station houses.
John J. Miller, the deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrosim, told the Times, “Some of these are angry people who call and rant; some are ill-advised Internet pranks or drunks who are texting, and those wash out fairly quickly. There are a handful that are of concern, and those are the cases where we devote the time and resources.”
The Associated Press reports: An 18-year-old is facing charges of making a terroristic threat after authorities said he posted an online photo of a man shooting at a patrol car, with a caption suggesting a local precinct was next. Another man was arrested after police said he walked into a stationhouse, talked about punching an officer and wouldn’t leave.
The mother and widow of Officer Wenjian Liu on Wednesday visited the Brooklyn memorial site where Liu and his partner Rafael Ramos were shot, according to the Daily News.
Liu had only been married for two months when he was killed. His funeral hasn’t been finalized yet, the family is waiting for relatives to arrive from China.
The funeral service for Ramos is scheduled for Saturday morning.
Some 20,000 to 25,000 officers and law enforcement officials from across the United States and Canada are expected to gather in New York City for the funerals, according to Newsday.
The paper reports the task of planning and coordinating the massive funerals has fallen on the NYPD’s ceremonial unit, a special squad of officers led by Lt. Tony Giorgio.
Queens-based JetBlue announced on Wednesday that police officers may fly free of charge to New York to the funerals. It will allow two officers with each department across the nation to fly its network.
JetBlue is also working with its partners to have Liu’s family flown in from overseas.
A fund has been set up by the Daily News to help the families of the slain officers and Mayor Bill de Blasio is encouraging people to donate.