(NEW YORK) — A wake was held Friday afternoon for New York City Police Officer Rafael Ramos, one of two officers shot and killed while sitting in their patrol car in a Saturday ambush.
Crowds of uniformed police officers greeted the hearse when it arrived in Queens Friday. A New York Police Department flag was draped over Ramos’ casket as it was carried into Christ Tabernacle Church.
Thousands of mourners, including police officers from across the country, lined up outside the building for hours, slowly streaming inside to say goodbye to Ramos.
His funeral is scheduled for Saturday. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will be among the attendees.
JetBlue confirmed that it has flown in 670 law enforcement officers from around the country after offering free transportation for those wishing to attend Ramos’ funeral.
Ramos was killed on Dec. 20, along with fellow officer Wenjian Liu. The officers were sitting in their vehicle in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn shortly before 3 p.m. when a man approached the car on the passenger side and opened fire, killing them both.
The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later killed himself after having posted anti-cop messages on social media.
The attack came amid heightened tensions between the police and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over what police saw as a lack of support for the force.
A crowd of officers turned their backs on the mayor when he walked into the press conference immediately after the shooting.
Earlier on Friday, a group of retired and active officers hired a plane to fly a banner repeating that sentiment.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) December 26, 2014
Blogger and former police officer John Cardillo told ABC News that the officers who paid for the plane, whose names were not released, arranged for the pilot to fly from central New Jersey up to the Hudson River and along Manhattan this morning.
City Hall spokesman Wiley Norvell condemned the stunt, saying, “Dividing people won’t help our city heal.”
Meanwhile, the relatives of the other fallen officer, Wenjian Liu, appeared at a news conference with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and other supporters of Tunnel to Towers, a charity originally established in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, who has offered to pay the slain officers’ mortgages.
“We remember the spirit of September 12 and that’s what we’re asking for today,” the former mayor, who has donated $20,000 of his own money towards the mortgage cause, said at Friday’s news conference.
Liu’s wife, Pei Xia Chen, was overcome with emotion, and though no members of his family spoke at the event, they issued a statement thanking Giuliani and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who have helped spearhead the effort.
In the days following the shooting, six people have been charged with threatening the New York Police Department. There have been at least 40 separate threats against New York City police since Saturday’s shooting, the NYPD said Wednesday. Half of those threats have been deemed not credible. The rest are still under investigation.
“All threats against members of the NYPD are taken seriously and are investigated immediately to determine the credibility and origin of the information,” the department said in a statement.
Extra guards have been posted at precincts when necessary and de Blasio has implored the public to report any threats they may see online.
The NYPD counts about 35,000 uniformed officers, with 22,000 patrolmen.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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