Following last night’s murder of five police officers on patrol at a Dallas, Texas, protest, the NYPD is stepping up its efforts to keep both officers and demonstrators across the city safe.
There is presently no credible threat to police officers in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a Friday afternoon press conference. The NYPD is, however, investigating up to 17 threats issued through social media and by phone since the middle of this week.
Even so, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has ordered that all officers on patrol work in pairs. Additionally, he has called for an increased presence at demonstrations similar to the one held in Dallas last night that ended in bloodshed when a sniper shot 11 officers, killing five of them.
The demonstration was held in the aftermath of two high-profile police-involved shootings involving black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Prior to being killed by Dallas police in a standoff, the gunman claimed that he was not affiliated with the demonstrators, and that he lashed out to kill as many white police officers as possible. Three individuals suspected of having a role in the shooting are in custody and being questioned.
Last night’s shooting has had a profound effect on the law enforcement community in New York City, de Blasio said. “They’re doing their job, but they’re feeling an awful lot right now,” he said. “Their families are feeling an awful lot of fear.”
Bratton said the Dallas murders bore an eerie resemblance to the 2014 murders of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were gunned down while sitting in a patrol car in Brooklyn at a time when the city and country were experiencing protests over police-involved shootings.
“This is a continuing crisis in this country that needs to be addressed,” Bratton said regarding the strained relationship between police departments and the communities they serve across the U.S. “The murder of five police officers and the injuring of many others need to serve as a catalyst to try and continue that healing process.”
In Queens, residents are trying to come to grips with the events of the last week. State Senator James Sanders announced a community meeting scheduled to take place tomorrow to focus on the events in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas while providing an opportunity for residents to “propose ideas and solutions to prevent such future incidents.”
The meeting will take place at 3 p.m. on July 9 at LIFE Camp Inc., located at 111-12 Sutphin Blvd. in Jamaica. It is co-sponsored by LIFE Camp, 100 Suits for 100 Men and the Rockaway Youth Task Force.
Local elected officials representing Queens residents also condemned the violence.
“The murders of innocent men in Minnesota and Louisiana are truly appalling. The senseless murder of Dallas police officers during a nonviolent protest is utterly horrific,” Congressman Gregory Meeks said. “As Americans, we pray for the victims in Minnesota and Louisiana, the fallen officers in Dallas, and mourn with all of their families. We have got to work together, police and civilians, to discourage and stamp out violence in America.”
“The unspeakably tragic events in Dallas, suburban Minneapolis and Baton Rouge shock the conscience,” added Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. “Sadness and despair have descended on America. Outrage is festering in many quarters. In times like these, America must rise to the occasion through unity under the umbrella of love. Violence is never the answer to injustice. We are all God’s children.”
“I grieve for the officers who were murdered and pray for the recovery of those injured. My most sincere condolences go to the family members, loved ones, and fellow officers who are suffering in the aftermath,” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said. “This armed attack on police officers underscores the urgent need for our country to come together and work cooperatively to put an end to the senseless violence that plagues us all.”
Meanwhile, the commanders of Queens police precincts took to Twitter to express their condolences to their fallen comrades in Dallas while also calling for unity.
— NYPD 104th Precinct (@NYPD104Pct) July 8, 2016
Our thoughts and prayers are not only with Dallas, but with all of America. We need a healing. More love, less hate! pic.twitter.com/k79IGZLP6b
— NYPD 109th Precinct (@NYPD109Pct) July 8, 2016