Weeks before assassinations, officers’ killer attended anti-NYPD rally

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Investigators found video on a cellphone used by Ismaayil Brinsley, the executioner of two New York City police officers, indicating Brinsley attended an anti-NYPD protest in Union Square Park weeks before he assassinated the officers as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce revealed Monday.

This latest detail emerged as the NYPD announced one of the slain officers -- 40-year-old Rafael Ramos -- would be laid to rest Saturday.

“We recovered his cellphone in Baltimore,” Boyce said of Brinsley, at a press conference attended by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton.

The cellphone video showed Brinsley watching the protest in the Manhattan park on Dec. 1.

Boyce said investigators found 119 images on Brinsley’s Instagram account, including a Nov. 25 anti-government tirade about inequities in America. The chief shared more details about Brinsley’s morning in Baltimore Dec. 20, before he headed to New York on his deadly mission.

Boyce said Brinsley broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment in Baltimore that morning.

“He put a gun to his own head, when he broke in,” Boyce told reporters, “and she talked him out of it.”

Brinsley ended up shooting the woman.

Surveillance footage in Brooklyn shows Brinsley — wearing a green jacket and combat pants — going through a door in the Atlantic Terminal Mall about 12:20 p.m. Dec. 20.

Detectives are trying to establish what he was doing that day between 12:07 p.m. and 2:47 p.m., when he approached officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were sitting in their patrol car at Willoughby and Myrtle avenues having lunch. He fired shots through the passenger side window, mortally wounding both men.

Boyce said Monday a fax with Brinsley’s picture and a warning was sent to NYPD units one minute before the shooting occurred.

NYPD believes Brinsley acted alone in his deadly rampage, but wants to dig deeper into his affiliations.

Investigators want to know if there’s any significance to a red arrowhead patch that was on the sweater he wore, like the one pictured below. They’re asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Ralph Lauren Ross Variety Jacket

PIX11 News asked Bratton about reports that union delegates from the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association were sending text messages to “rank and file” officers telling them not to take enforcement action in the form of arrests or writing summonses “unless absolutely necessary.”

As PIX11 was in the middle of reading the full text to the commissioner, he said, “Mary, I can stop you there. You find the delegate who’s writing that. The men and women of this department have been doing their duties before and after this terrible event of Saturday. There’s no indication they’re stepping back from that responsibility.”

A father of two teenage sons, Officer Ramos will be waked Friday at Christ Tabernacle Church on Myrtle Avenue in Glendale, Queens. The viewing starts at 2 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m. The funeral for Ramos will be held the next day at 10 a.m. at Christ Tabernacle Church.

The family of 32-year-old Officer Wenjian Liu is still trying to get relatives here from China before Liu’s funeral is held.

An only child, Liu was married about two months before he was gunned down on the job. de Blasio said his parents are crushed by his death.

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