On the same day as tens of thousands of police officers from across the country joined the New York Police Department in honoring Officer Rafael Ramos, who was killed on December 20 along with his partner, Officer Wenjian Liu, demonstrations took place in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles protesting police violence and racial injustice.
Ramos and Liu were allegedly shot last Saturday by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who had said on social media that he intended to kill police officers. After shooting the officers in their vehicle, Brinsley killed himself minutes later in a nearby subway station.
The New York Times reports that "[a]fter the killings, the political fallout was immediate and intense. The already strained relationship between Mr. de Blasio and the department grew even worse, with the head of a police union even accusing him of having blood on his hands. When Mr. de Blasio arrived at the funeral, there was a scattering of boos, and an officer held up a sign calling for him to resign."
According to the Times, "on the streets around the church, scores of New York City police officers used the occasion to once again make a statement about what they feel is a lack of support from City Hall—turning their backs when Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his remarks."
Hours later, protesters employed similar symbolism when they turned their backs on the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn, NY, near the Pink Houses complex where Akai Gurley was shot and killed by an NYPD officer in November.
— Andrew J. Padilla (@apadillafilm6) December 27, 2014
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One demonstrator held a sign that read: "When a cop dies a nation cries. When Black youth die, the Black community cries alone."
In Chicago, relatives and other supporters of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Milwaukee in April, gathered for a rally at the headquarters of Jesse Jackson. Last week, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced his decision not to file charges against Christopher Manney, saying the officer acted in self-defense.
According to TMJ4, "Jackson addressed a crowd of about 200 people Saturday at his Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters. Jackson said people and police need each other, and he called for an end to 'all killing.'"
The #MillionsMarchLA event, organized by a collective of college students, local residents, and community leaders, began with community discussions and a rally at noon, followed by a march scheduled to begin at 2 pm PST.
Follow the actions on Twitter below: