BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — An unofficial street sign renaming the Brooklyn street where two NYPD officers were fatally shot last month will soon be taken down amid complaints from community members, a Bed-Stuy police official said Monday.
The sign reading “Fallen Officers Way," on the corner of Tompkins and Myrtle avenues, “will be taken care of,” said Deputy Inspector John Chell, commanding officer of the 79th Precinct.
Addressing residents at Brooklyn’s Community Board 3 meeting Monday night, Chell said the street sign honoring Dets. Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos was recently installed by a Manhattan resident without permission.
The officers, who worked in the 84th Precinct, were shot to death on Dec. 20 while sitting in a patrol car in Bed-Stuy. The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, killed himself at a nearby subway station.
The unauthorized street name memorializing the pair rattled some community members, who complained Monday that the new sign went up without their input.
Tremaine Wright, CB3’s chair, said the board advised residents to send complaints or concerns to 311 or the community board’s office.
“It seems as though there are a number of grumblings coming from community residents,” Wright said. “We are very much aware it is not something that has come from the proper channels of community board process of approval and public hearing.”
Typically, street co-namings are subject to board applications and guidelines.
Plans are already in place to name a pair of Brooklyn streets after Ramos and Liu in Cypress Hills and Gravesend, near the officers' homes.
The city’s Department of Transportation is reaching out to the individual who installed the sign on Tompkins and Myrtle, according to an agency spokesperson.
“That [sign] will be coming down,” Chell said. “When the time is right, when we do some memorial like a sign, we want to do it altogether as a community.
“The sign might cause some disturbance to people, but I believe the gentleman who put it up was doing it with nothing but good in his heart, he thought he was doing the right thing. But that sign will be taken care of.”
The commanding officer added that as of Monday afternoon Tompkins Avenue, which has been closed to traffic since the shootings, reopened.
Following the announcement, community members at the meeting voiced their concern regarding lack of communication on the street closures.
“The community felt very disrespected for the whole two weeks of the streets being closed off,” said Ephraim Benton, 37. “Seniors were inconvenienced and we had to show our IDs just to get in the buildings.”
While buses and select vehicles were allowed, the block surrounding the shooting site was closed off due to efforts to avoid pedestrian accidents as a result of the number of visitors at the officers’ memorial, Chell said.