By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
National protests over the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner turned violent on Saturday when New York Police officers Wenjian Liu, 32 and Rafael Ramos, 40 were assassinated by a gunman who posted online that he was targeting the police in retribution for the killings of Brown and Garner. Grand juries have cleared the police of any wrongdoing in the deaths of Garner and Brown.
In response to the police officer slayings, the conservative group, Alabama Constitutional Conservatives have announced that December 23 is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
The Alabama Constitutional Conservatives wrote on Facebook, “Show your appreciation for our men and women in blue! Take a moment on this day to stop by your local police department and say THANK YOU. Let them know we have their back and we appreciate their service.”
The group also announced that they will be holding a rally to support the Birmingham Police at 2:30 pm at 1320 19th Street South in Birmingham.
The group’s Coordinator, Deanna Frankowski said in a written statement, “Alabama Constitutional Conservatives along with other citizens of this state and country want our men and women in blue and their families to know that we appreciate the sacrifices that they make each and every day and that we have their back. During this holiday season, it is especially important for us to remember that many of these officers will not be with their families and that just as the military and other first responders, they do their job for love of service and country.”
WABC-TV Channel 7 in New York has shown footage of hundreds of NYPD police officers standing in silent salute as two emergency services unit ambulances remove the bodies of the fallen officers from the hospital.
In original reporting by Fox News, Cardinal Timothy Dolan called the murders of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, “brutal and irrational.” Both New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton were present at Sunday’s Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in which Cardinal Dolan mentioned both officers’ Liu and Ramos.
Cardinal Dolan asked that Commissioner Bratton tell the NYPD officers that those gathered at St. Patrick’s, “Love them very much, we mourn with them, we need them, we respect them, we’re proud of them and we thank them.”
Cardinal Dolan said, “We tear up thinking of the heartbroken families and the police department is mourning a death in their own family as we worry about a city tempted by tension and division.” “The more we are tested, the stronger we get. Now more than ever, we need a little Christmas right this very minute.”
Protests over the death of Eric Garner and Michael Brown’s spilled over into Alabama on Friday. Over two dozen people protested in front of the Summit Shopping Center in Birmingham at 3:00 pm on Friday, then followed that with a staged “die-in” at the Galleria in Hoover. More protestors blocked the Montgomery Christmas Parade.
Newsday’s Nicole Fuller, John Asbury, and Anthony M. Destefano are reporting that on Saturday night, Patrick Lynch, the president of the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said, “Those that incited violence on the street in the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it shouldn’t be tolerated. That blood on the hands starts at the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor.”
The killer, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, has a long criminal record in Georgia (where he served two years in prison) and in Ohio. Brinsely reportedly shot his girlfriend on Saturday in Baltimore. After shooting his girlfriend, Brinsley traveled to New York City where he shot four times at the two officers at point-blank range, as they sat in their patrol car near Myrtle and Tompkins avenues in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant section at 2:47 p.m.
Before the killings, Brinsley, 28, told two male witnesses “Watch what I am going to do.” Brinsley asked them to follow him on Instagram. He then walked past the officers, circled around and came up behind them. The officers, most likely, were taken completely by surprise.
Brinsley reportedly attempted to hang himself a year ago. He is Muslim, but there is no evidence that that motivated the slayings.
The police are crediting two Con Edison workers who witnessed the shooting and chased Brinsley until police officers caught up with him on the subway platform.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Sunday, “We can’t thank those two individuals enough.”
Original reporting by Fox News and Newsday has contributed to this report.