Originally Published: December 23, 2014
Dick Dadey, Executive Director
The execution of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos is a horrible tragedy. Coming as it did after two weeks of heated words, unfortunate demagoguery, and continuing protests makes the police officers’ deaths more painful and unsettling.
The convergence of recent events sparked by a grand jury’s decision not to hold any law enforcement official accountable for the death of an unarmed man in Staten Island has made this a trying time for our city. The killings of a civilian and two police officers have assaulted our shared sense of public decency and caused New Yorkers to pause and realize that all lives matter.
Our hearts go out to the officers’ families for their unimaginable loss. We also convey appreciative thoughts to and support for all those police officers who serve and protect our city each and every day with integrity and bravery.
Let us use the coming days to honor police officers Liu and Ramos, reflect on how our city arrived at this place, heal our divisions, and hope for a better, more united city. The time will come for us in early 2015 to talk and seek positive change to safeguard our police, improve public safety, strengthen police accountability, address police-community relations, and reform our criminal justice system.
As a good government organization interested in seeing our city address important issues fairly and forthrightly through effective and accountable government, Citizens Union looks forward to helping bring about useful change and needed reform – as we first expressed earlier this month in a previous statement reacting to the Eric Garner grand jury decision.