NEW YORK – When the NYPD police radios started crackling Tuesday evening with calls of 10-13—meaning a police officer needed assistance—the night would end with the worst kind of news. A Housing Police Officer, 33-year old Randolph Holder, did not survive the gunshot wound to his head, sustained on an overpass by 120th Street and the FDR Drive in Harlem. The alleged killer had an extensive rap sheet.
It was the 4th time New York City Police Commissioner, William Bratton, had to comfort a grieving, police family since December 2014.
Back on December 20th, five days before Christmas, Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu of the 84th Precinct were ambushed by a lone gunman, as they sat in their patrol car in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn–close to Tompkins Houses.
The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had been ranting on social media against the government. He shot his girlfriend in Baltimore and then started posting messages on Instagram that he was going to “put wings on cops”—talking about the police-involved deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
He traveled to New York and was spotted on surveillance inside the Atlantic Mall Terminal, about three hours before the 2:47 pm shooting.
The stunning, double execution of Ramos and Liu brought an abrupt halt to anti-police protests that had been going on for weeks in the city, many of them clogging streets and bridges.
“They were, quite simply, assassinated,” Commissioner Bratton said of the Ramos/Liu murders.
The gunman ran to a nearby subway station after the shootings—and fatally shot himself.
The Ramos/Liu murders rocked the department and its 35,000 police officers. The unions blamed Mayor Bill deBlasio for creating a climate where officers weren’t being backed by the city.
There were several weeks of tensions between City Hall and the unions, but then an uneasy peace seemed to be arrived at.
Then, on May 2nd, 2015, 25-year-old Police Officer Brian Moore was shot in the face when he stopped Demetrius Blackwell in the confines of the 105 Precinct in Queens.
Moore was a five-year veteran, and he was a very active officer, with 150 arrests to his credit.
His father is a retired, NYPD Sergeant.
Thousands attended Moore’s funeral in Massapequa.
And just as he did with Ramos and Liu, Commissioner Bratton posthumously promoted Moore to the rank of NYPD Detective, First Grade.
The fatal shooting of Officer Randolph Holder on Tuesday this week—who was an immigrant, like Liu—reminds all in law enforcement that 2015 has been a violent year in policing.
So far this year, 31 police officers have been killed in the line of duty, around the country.