(JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League called the killing of two New York Police Department officers a “heinous, senseless and shocking assault.”
The officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot in the head through the window of their patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.
Shortly before the killings, the gunman, identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, threatened to shoot two “pigs” in retaliation for death of Eric Garner at the hands of police officers in July. “I’m putting Wings on Pigs Today,” Brinsley wrote on Instagram minutes before the attack.
Brinsley had traveled to New York from Baltimore, where he shot and wounded his girlfriend. Brinley killed himself after shooting the officers.
“This was a heinous, senseless and shocking assault on two New York City Police officers whose only crime was in reporting for duty. It is hard to find words to explain why anyone would think it appropriate to kill police officers in cold blood,” Evan Bernstein, ADL’s New York regional director, said in a statement Saturday night.
“Violence, particularly violence borne of racism or hatred, is never the appropriate response in a civil society. The rule of law must prevail. When men and women sworn to serve and protect the public are targeted for senseless acts of barbarism, our democracy suffers and society breaks down into lawlessness,” Bernstein said.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday ordered flags flown at half staff throughout the city.