BORO PARK, Brooklyn (PIX11) -- It's confirmed that the second of two NYPD cops gunned down in a targeted attack earlier this month will be laid to rest this coming weekend. Wenjian Liu's funeral will follow one of the biggest in New York history, that of his partner on the day they were killed, Rafael Ramos. The question now regarding their status is whether or not Liu's funeral will draw the same show of support from law enforcement and the community as that of his partner.
The memory of last Saturday's remarkable display of unity by law enforcement is hard to forget. The sea of blue uniforms that went as far as the eye could see, the presence and knowing words of Vice President Joe Biden, the rolling thunder of the 13 helicopters that flew in formation over the Glendale church, and the 250 motorcycles from across the country that passed by the Ramos family's funeral home limousine, and then led it in a motorcade to the cemetery. All of those indelible images from Detective Ramos's funeral led one of the city's most vocal police leaders to make a strong request afterward.
"We ask the good people of New York," said Police Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch, "to come out one more time, and show the same respect for [Detective] Liu."
Lynch had seen nearly 25,000 cops from all over the U.S. and Canada, and wanted to ensure that Liu gets a fitting tribute at his wake and funeral. They will both be held at the Aievoli Funeral Home in Boro Park, Brooklyn, where two pairs of NYPD officers stand guard over Detective Liu's remains now.
On Saturday at the funeral home, from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m., Liu's wake will be held. On Sunday, starting at 10:00 A.M. it will be the scene of the posthumously-promoted detective's funeral service.
That ceremony will be led by Buddhist monks, according to the funeral home. It is not yet determined exactly who the leaders of the service will be, but members of Fan Yin Temple, a Chinese-American Buddhist house of worship about seven blocks from funeral home, told PIX11 News that they will attend the ceremony, which is intended to give the slain law enforcement officer a peaceful passage to the afterlife.
A block and a half from the funeral site, there are statues of the Virgin Mary on the lawns, and at one home, a long line of blue ribbons, some attached to signs reading "I Support the NYPD." Jerry Bimbo, who lives in the home and put up the pro-police display, said that while he feels Det. Liu's religion is important, something else is more important still.
"Everybody just comes together at a time like this," Bimbo said. "[Difference of religion] doesn't matter. I'm gonna be right out here [at the funeral]. Believe me, I am, and my whole family too. To show our support, absolutely."
JetBlue Airlines has committed once again to flying any law enforcement officer who wishes to attend Liu's funeral to New York free of charge from anywhere in the country the airline serves.
Also, a source close to the planning of the funeral told PIX11 News that police are planning to close off all major roadways for up to 10 blocks in every direction from the funeral home on Sunday.
PIX11 News has also learned that the Liu Family may want the service to be on a smaller scale overall than that of Detective Ramos. It is not clear if the vice president will attend this weekend's ceremony. Other major state and city elected officials are expected to be in attendance.