Following the fatal shooting of two NYPD police officers, an eyewitness claims "people were clapping and laughing" at the scene.
New York police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were killed in their patrol cars by Ismaaiyl Brinsley on Saturday, Dec. 20. As Opposing Views previously reported, the act of violence allegedly occurred out of a desire to exact revenge for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
The Brooklyn police officers were taken to a local hospital after the fatal shootings, and a makeshift memorial was set up across the street with carnations, a cardboard box and a handmade sign that reads “R.I.P. NYPD".
Police officers saluted the bodies of their fallen comrades as they were taken out of the hospital with a full escort by highway patrol.
It was not an entirely supportive and somber time outside of the hospital.
Speaking with The Daily Beast, an eyewitness by the name of Carlos recalled what he saw and heard.
“A lot of people were clapping and laughing,” Carlos said. “Some were saying, ‘They deserved it,’ and another was shouting at the cops, ‘Serves them right because you mistreat people!’”
Other outbursts included a passerby reportedly saying, “You’re a bunch of killers,” and members of a crowd repeating, “F**k the cops.”
Carlos, who walks his 10-year-old daughter to school everyday passing the post where the officers were shot, is upset over the event.
“I walk my kid to school, passed that cop car everyday,” Carlos said. “That’s their post. What would people rather not have the cops here to keep us safe?"
Mayor Bill de Blasio gave an emotionally-charged response to the shootings at a press conference.
“Every New Yorker should feel they were attacked, that our entire city was attacked, by this heinous individual,” said de Blasio. “When a police officer is murdered it tears at the foundation of our society. It is an attack on all of us … Our city is in mourning. Our hearts are heavy. We lost two good men who devoted their lives to protecting all of us.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo released his own statement on the shootings.
“Tonight, the thoughts and prayers of all New Yorkers are with the family and friends of New York City police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were assassinated in the line of duty," Cuomo's statement read. "This deplorable act of violence is the opposite of what New York is and what New Yorkers believe in. These brave officers, along with the over 34,000 other uniformed men and women of the New York Police Department, put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. They run toward danger when all of our instincts tell us to run away. Tonight, we all come together to mourn the loss of these brave souls.”
Brinsley shot and wounded his former girlfriend in Baltimore on Saturday before killing Liu and Ramos.