WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 19, 2015) — The White House Office of the Press Secretary on Tuesday, released the remarks of President Barack Obama, regarding the signing of the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015. The Act was signed in the Oval Office at approximately 11:10 a.m. EST.
Ramos and Liu were officers in the New York Police Department. According to the NYPD press release, “on Dec. 20, 2014, Police Officer Rafael L. Ramos and his partner, Police Officer Wen Jian Liu, both assigned to the 84 Precinct, were sitting in their patrol car performing duty in the 79 Precinct as a Critical Response Vehicle (CRV) Post at the corner of Tompkins and Myrtle Avenues. A man approached their RMP and unprovoked, assassinated Police Officer Ramos and his partner, Police Officer Liu. Shortly thereafter, the gunman took his own life.”
The suspect is Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, was a 28 year-old Baltimore man who traveled to New York after making threats about killing police on social media.
“Well, as some of you aware, several weeks ago we lost two of New York’s finest, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu,” Obama stated. “They were serving their community with great honor and dedication and courage. And all of New York grieved and all of the nation grieved. It was a reminder of the incredibly difficult and dangerous work that so many of our law enforcement officers are engaged in every single day.
“I had a chance to meet the families of officers Ramos and Liu at the memorial that we did just a few days ago,” Obama added. “But it’s important for us not only to honor their memory, it’s also important for us to make sure that we do everything we can to help ensure the safety of our police officers when they’re in the line of duty.
Obama said the legislation is a bipartisan support for law enforcement and sponsors included U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), and U.S. Reps’ David Reichert (WA-8), and William Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9). The legislation initiates a Blue Alert System so that when a known active threat exists against law enforcement, a comprehensive and expeditious alert is automatically issued to help prevent the possibility that officers may be caught by surprise, and ensures that appropriate steps are taken as quickly as possible.
“So I want to again thank the members of Congress who have come together to put this legislation in place,” Obama added. “Most of all, I want to thank the families who obviously are still grieving from a terrible tragedy but have worked hard to make sure that it is translated into something concrete. And we’re very proud of them. I’m particularly proud of the children here — these young men who, I think, are obviously grief stricken but we know they’re going to do a great job looking after their mom moving forward.”
According to NYPD, Police Officer Liu first joined the New York City Police Department as an auxiliary police officer. He was sworn in as a New York City police officer in July 2007. After completing training at the Police Academy, he was assigned to the 73 Precinct. One year later, he was transferred to the 84 Precinct.
He is survived by his wife, Pei Xia Chen, and his parents, Xiu Yan Li and Wei Tang Liu. Police Officer Liu held an Associate in Applied Science degree in Accounting from the City University of New York. On December 27, 2014, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton posthumously promoted Police Officer Wen Jian Liu to Detective First Grade.
Police Officer Ramos joined the New York City Police Department in August 2009, as a School Safety Agent assigned to the 122 Precinct School Safety Unit, on Staten Island. In January 2012, he was sworn in as a New York City police officer fulfilling his life-long dream of becoming one of New York’s Finest. He began his career as an officer assigned to the 79 Precinct as part of the command’s Impact Zone. In November 2013, Police Officer Ramos was transferred to the 84 Precinct.
Police Officer Ramos is survived by his wife, Maritza; two sons: Justin, 18, and Jaden, 13; his mother, Julia Romero; and sister, Sindy Ramos. He was a prominent member of his church, the Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, Queens, and was near completion of his bachelor’s degree in Religion at Faith Evangelical College and Seminary.
On December 27, 2014, during his funeral, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton posthumously promoted Police Officer Ramos to Detective First Grade, as well as making him an honorary chaplain of the 84 Precinct. Additionally, the Faith Evangelical College and Seminary posthumously awarded him his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion.