WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Westchester residents are angry and concerned for their local police forces, after a pair of NYPD officers were executed by a gunman in Brooklyn.
Westchester County police and residents have been on edge since Saturday, when Ismaaiyl Brinsley approached the squad car of Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos on a Brooklyn street and shot them in cold blood before turning the gun on himself as police closed in after he fled.
The shooting came as occasionally-violent protests over lack of indictments of police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner i New York City continue throughout the country.
“It’s a scary thing. They have enough to worry about without having to worry about lunatics,” Mount Vernon resident Shari Jackson said Monday. “There are terrible things happening all over the world, but this is no way to handle that.”
Locally, a proposed “Black Lives Matter” march on New Rochelle City Hall that was scheduled for Sunday was cancelled after New Rochelle PBA President Ray Andolina reportedly reached out to the City Council with concerns.
“It (is) our position that such a rally would be perceived as a problem exists between the community we serve and our members, which is not the case,“ he said in his statement.
Following the shooting on Saturday, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino issued a statement expressing his and the county’s support of the police and NYPD.
“The murders of the two New York City police officers is a horrific crime against our society and the values we cherish,” he said. “The people of Westchester stand in sorrow with every New Yorker and solidarity with the NYPD and all police officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe.”
Amy Bennett, a New Rochelle native who said she has a brother-in-law who serves as a police officer in Virginia, noted that this could be an opportunity to come together as a country, not fracture.
“It’s eye opening. But it can also be an opportunity. This could be the straw that broke the camel’s back, and maybe now things will start to cool down,” she said. “With any luck, this is the beginning of the end and we can all just find some peace.”
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