The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Mark-Viverito Will Attend Slain Officers' Funerals if Invited By Families

By Danielle Tcholakian | December 23, 2014 3:23pm
 City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito says the Ramos and Liu families will decide if she attends the slain officers' funerals.
Melissa Mark-Viverito Says She Will Respect Families' Wishes
View Full Caption

CITY HALL — City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will let the families of the officers slain by a  gunman in Bed-Stuy over the weekend decide whether or not she will attend their funerals, she said Monday.

The city's largest police union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, circulated a petition a week before the officers were killed inviting members to request the mayor and the speaker stay away from their funerals if they were killed in the line of duty.

"I will respect the family's wishes," Mark-Viverito said when asked if she will attend the funerals of Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40.

The remarks come in contrast to those from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said Monday that he would "asbolutely" attend the funerals.

They also came as the mayor observed a moment of silence for the fallen officers at City Hall Monday and paid his respects with a bouquet of flowers at the scene of the shooting in Bed-Stuy.



Ramos and Liu were fatally shot four times at point blank range by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, as they sat in their patrol car on Tompkins Avenue near Myrtle Avenue. Brinsley then fled to a subway station and killed himself.

► Gunman Kills Two NYPD Officers in Bed-Stuy 'Ambush'

► Mayor De Blasio Visits Families of Murdered Police Officers

► De Blasio Asks for Protests, Politics to Stop as City Mourns Slain Officers

A spokeswoman for the speaker's office said the last time Mark-Viverito spoke with the families was at Woodhull Hospital on Saturday night. Their decision, if any, was not clear. The NYPD and the PBA did not respond to inquiries about the families' positions on the matter.

The PBA petition came days after several lawmakers wore "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts, recalling the last words of Eric Garner. Some walked out of the chamber and Mark-Viverito gave a speech recalling Garner's final moments.

On Tuesday Mark-Viverito echoed the mayor's call for protests that have come in the wake of a Staten Island grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer in Garner's death to cease. On Monday, de Blasio asked that demonstrators hold off until after the officers are laid to rest, but Mark-Viverito didn't set a timeline.

Several protests are already scheduled for Tuesday evening. Garner's daughter will attend a "die-in" at the Staten Island courthouse, and a large rally is planned for 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.

De Blasio met with protesters on Friday, the day before the officers were murdered and he said he admonished them about violence against police. A spokesman for the mayor did not respond when asked whether the mayor plans to meet with protesters again, or what his feelings are regarding the planned protests.

On Tuesday morning, several of Brooklyn's precinct councils, community organizations that work with local precincts, met to discuss the police killings. They complained that de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton have made no attempts to work with them, and that the mayor only listens to Rev. Al Sharpton.

Ronnie Gonzalez, a cousin of Officer Ramos, told the New York Times the family felt the mayor could be more supportive of police, but that he would not be turned away from the funeral.

“If he wants to come, we’re not going to throw him out,” Gonzalez told the Times.

Ramos' funeral is scheduled for Saturday, with a viewing on Friday. Liu's family is waiting to schedule services until family members from China can be brought to the U.S. to attend, de Blasio and Bratton said  Monday.

Bratton and the mayor said they are working to obtain visas and make travel arrangements for the Liu family.