A tragedy that occurred Saturday afternoon in New York City has shocked people across the nation. A gunman by the name of Ismaaiyl Brinsley fatally shot two New York policemen, fled into a nearby subway station, and shot himself as well. The officers were shot execution style, from close range, and what makes this tragedy even worse is the fact that both officers left their families behind.
The extent to which this killing will affect the officer’s families is beyond any of our imaginations. The first officer killed, Rafael Ramos, had a 13 year old son. The other officer, Wenjian Liu, had only been married for two months. After considering these facts and the impact of this event, the question still remains: what was the purpose of this assassination?
The only reason that seems plausible is that Brinsley was upset and disturbed after a grand jury refused to charge a white police officer who was involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in Staten Island. Garner’s death was back in July when a police officer tried to arrest him but instead ended up killing Garner. In addition, another decision in November not to charge a police officer for killing an unarmed teenager in Missouri was also met with a tremendous amount of protest.
In both these events, a African American man was killed by a white police officer. Brinsley, being an African American himself, seemed to want justice for the lives that been taken. But why kill Ramos and Liu? They only seemed to be doing their duty and weren’t even involved in either of the incidents that troubled Brinsley. If Brinsley was desperate for justice to be served, he should have gone and dealt with those people who were hindering this justice through a more peaceful manner.
Although, people are agitated and disturbed by the tragedy, did Brinsley’s action really accomplish much other than taking the lives of two innocent officers? Brinsley seemed to think that this act of revenge would make a difference and justice would be served. But can justice really be served after the deaths of Ramos and Liu? The rest of the nation also condemns the shootings and seems to be coming together to help each other and give each other support in the aftermath of the killings.
Investigations are still under proceedings so that the true motives behind Brinsley’s actions can be accounted for. But until then it is important that we respect the police for the work that they do each day and the time they spend outside of their homes to ensure our safety. Such an outrage should never take place again and people should come to terms with the enormous responsibilities that officers have and the gratitude that they truly deserve.