Two policemen were shot dead in the afternoon of Saturday, December 22, in New York. The shooter then committed suicide, announced in the evening the head of the New York police, Bill Bratton. The attack took place in Brooklyn, Bedford Stuyvesant at 14 h 50 local time.
The killer, identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, aged 28, fired several shots at the police officers who were sitting in their car. The man, shooting through the passenger window, shot them in the head.
“They were killed without warning,” said Bill Bratton, at a press conference, who also indicated that the murderer, who, according to him, had no connection with terrorism, had come to the city of Baltimore 300 km south of New York. Chased by other officers as he fled on foot, he ended his days on a subway platform near the crime scene.
The murderer also shot on Saturday morning his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore, before leaving for New York, Mr Bratton said. He also said Brinsley apparently used the Instagram account of the young woman for his anti-police force feedback.
Latent conflict between the mayor and the police
The mayor, Bill de Blasio, a Democrat whose relationships are hard with its police, also denounced Saturday night a “killing as an execution.” This is the first time since 2011 that the New York police officers are killed by firearms and this event should feed the tensions between police and Mr de Blasio, accused of not supporting the challenge that the NYPD are currently facing.
Leader of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, first union of municipal police officers in the United States, Patrick Lynch ruled that “there is blood on many hands tonight.” “Those who have encouraged violence in the street under cover of demonstration, who tried to destroy what the New York police officers perform daily, said Patrick Lynch during a news conference. This blood on my hands began on the steps of City Hall, the mayor’s office.”
The double murder has deeply traumatized the largest US police force, including two members who had been attacked on October 24 by a man armed with a hatchet. One of the policemen was then seriously wounded, the other had a lighter wound. Mr Bratton had at the time referred to a terrorist act.
Background of tensions
This drama comes in the context of the tense Eric Garner case, and after the death of another unarmed black, killed in the dark stairwell of a Brooklyn public housing November 20 by a novice policeman. Bratton acknowledged that the victim, Akai Gurley, was completely innocent. Eric Garner, father of six suspected of illegal sale of cigarettes, died last July during a violent arrest in Staten Island, one of the boroughs of New York.
Earlier this month, a grand jury found that there was no reason to prosecute the police officer seen on an amateur video compress Eric Garner’s neck to make him fall to the ground. Garner had repeatedly complained of not being able to breathe before losing consciousness.
In a message posted on the social network Instagram, an account that seems to be the suspect familiar spirit of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and threatens to attack the police.
Many protests were held in New York since the decision of the grand jury, without major incident, as well as in other American cities. The latest unrest in New York was held Friday night. The Rev. Al Sharpton, a civic figure, very close to the families Brown and Garner, denounced on Saturday night any association between these cases.
“I spoke with the Garner family and we are shocked by reports of the deaths of police officers in Brooklyn. Any use of the name of Eric Garner and Michael Brown [a young black killed in August by police in Ferguson, Missouri], in connection with any violence or police murder is wrong and goes against the pursuit of justice in both cases.”