After a crazed Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos last December in Brooklyn, it came at a time when protesters were still outraged over the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner on Staten Island. Now the media had a different story to nurse.
Last Saturday in Queens, officer Brian Moore was senselessly slain and a suspect, Demetrius Blackwell, has been arrested. Once again, a police officer is killed as turmoil continues in Baltimore, where Freddie Gray died in police custody.
Some faulted the media and the anti-cop attitude emanating from the federal government for the deaths of Liu and Ramos because Brinsley had announced his intentions to avenge the deaths of Brown and Garner. Thus far, there is no indication what motive Blackwell may have had in gunning down Moore, 25, a five-year veteran of the NYPD whose father, uncle and cousin were also police officers.
Moore died Monday at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center after being shot in the face. He was put into a medically induced coma to relieve pressure on his brain, but there was only a small chance of his survival.
“In his very brief career … less than five years, he had already proved himself to an exceptional young officer,” said Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. He added that Moore had made more than 159 arrests “protecting and serving the citizens of this city.”
Standing alongside Bratton and obviously distraught was Mayor Bill de Blasio, who acknowledged Moore’s dream to be the kind of officer his father was. “He did everything a good police officer was supposed to do. … This was his dream because he had seen such extraordinary examples in his own family.”
Moore, who grew up in Massapequa, Long Island, was working undercover with his partner, Erik Jansen, in an unmarked car when they pulled up behind Blackwell after seeing him fumbling with something in his waistband, the NYPD stated. When they stopped to ask Blackwell some questions, he opened fire on them.
Ninety minutes after the incident, Blackwell was apprehended at his home and Jansen was able to identify him as the assailant. The gun used in the shooting was found Monday along the trail Blackwell used when he fled.
Given Moore’s death, the charges against Blackwell have increased to murder. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
“I am deeply saddened over the tragic killing of officer Brian Moore,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said in an emailed statement. “Officer Moore was a five-year decorated veteran of the New York City Police Department and served the city with courage and distinction. At just 25 years old, his life was cut short by a senseless act of violence. Any time an officer is killed in the line of duty, it is a reminder to us all of the risks police officers take every single day they walk the beat. My thoughts and prayers go out to office Moore’s family, friends and fellow officers.”
President Barack Obama, in town for an appearance at Lehman College, expressed his sympathies for the fallen officer. “He came from a family of police officers, and the family of fellow officers he joined in the NYPD and across the country deserve our gratitude and our prayers.”
Moore’s funeral is scheduled for Friday.