In the wake of the murders of two New York Police Department officers, JetBlue Airways has offered free flights to the families of the fallen officers and are currently working with a partner carrier to assist in flying in the family of Officer Wenjian Liu from overseas.
On Saturday, Dec. 20, NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed with no warning or provocation as they were sitting in their marked police car in the Bedford Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York City. Ramos and Liu were shot and killed without having the opportunity to draw their weapons; it is unclear whether they saw their killer prior to the shooting.
The officers were assigned to the area as part of a crime reduction strategy addressing complaints of violence in the Housing Developments area.
The officers were transported to Woodhull Hospital where measures were taken to save their lives, but the officers ultimately succumbed to their injuries.
“We're honored to do what we can to support the communities we serve, and our team has made flights available to law enforcement agencies across our route network who wish to send representatives to New York to support their brethren,” said JetBlue spokesperson Tamara Young.
According to Young, JetBlue is accepting up to two officers from each department — space permitting — and has provided flights for approximately 670 officers so far to attended Officer Ramos' service Saturday.
Police Commissioner William J. Bratton made a statement regarding the events noting the seven times since 1972 that NYPD officers murdered with their partners in assassinations, such as this, without warning.
“Officers know this from the memorial walls in our precincts and Headquarters and from the stories they hand down,” said Bratton. “Nevertheless, they do what we expect of them. They grieve, they mourn, but then the go out on the streets of this city and work to keep it safe, every day and every night. We have never and never will forget that mission.”
“We will never forget the two young men who lost their lives today,” said Bratton.
Officer Ramos was 40 years old and a two-year veteran of the NYPD; he was married and has a 13-year-old son. Officer Liu was 32 years old and a seven-year veteran of the NYPD; he was recently married.
The funeral service for Officer Ramos is scheduled for Saturday Dec. 27 at 1:00 p.m. at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, New York; information regarding the services for Officer Liu has yet to be released by NYPD.