Wake held for slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos
Uniformed police officers carried the flag-draped coffin of their fallen brother into a Queens church for his wake Friday.
Thousands of police officers attended the wake for NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos at Christ Tabernacle Church in the Glendale section of Queens. The officers saluted Ramos' casket as it passed by.
His funeral is Saturday at 10 a.m. at the same church; Vice President Joe Biden is expected to attend.
Security was heightened outside the church for the wake, where a line stretched around the block and K-9 units helped patrol the area. EMS units were also outside.
Capt. Sergio Centa, the commanding officer of the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn, praised Ramos. Centa said the fallen officer, who was a former school security officer before joining the NYPD in 2012, had also studied to be a pastor.
Ramos celebrated his 40th birthday earlier this month. He leaves behind a wife and two sons.
Ramos' wake comes less than a week after Ismaaiyl Brinsley fatally shot Ramos and his police partner, Wenjian Liu, as they sat in their patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn on Dec. 20. Brinsley, whose family has said that he suffered from mental illness, then ran to a subway station and killed himself, authorities said.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York, attended Ramos' wake, as did former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Earlier in the day at a news conference attended by Giuliani, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation said that it will pay off the mortgages for officers Ramos and Liu's families. The organization is taking donations for the cause. Giuliani praised the charity for easing the families' financial burdens.
Officer Liu's funeral arrangements haven't been finalized.