Colton to Boehner: Slain cops deserve gold medals

Assemblymember seeks posthumous honor for Ramos, Liu

January 19, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Bill Colton says the Congressional Gold Medal for Ramos and Liu would serve as a symbol of the country’s respect for all law enforcement officers. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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Assemblymember Bill Colton, who proposed that slain NYPD Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu be posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal shortly after the two men were shot to death last month, is pressing ahead with his idea.

Colton (D-Gravesend/Bensonhurst) has written a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) requesting that he consider awarding the medals in memory of the two detectives who were gunned down while sitting in their patrol car on a Bed-Stuy street on Dec. 20.

The Congressional Gold Medal, which dates back to the days of George Washington, is considered one of the nation’s highest honors. It is awarded by a vote in Congress.

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The medal would honor the sacrifice Ramos and Liu made, according to Colton, who said it would also serve as a symbol of the respect the nation has for all law enforcement officers.

In his letter, Colton wrote that awarding gold medals to Ramos and Liu would “not only will recognize the exemplary lives of these two heroes but will symbolize the need to support our police and law enforcement everywhere in the nation.”

Police officers across the country “put their lives on the line for us in order to ensure public safety and security,” Colton wrote. “All of us owe it to these brave men and women to find ways to let them know we recognize and appreciate their heroic work.”

Colton also said the medals “will help begin the healing process in police-community relations across the country.”

Liu was a constituent of Colton’s. The detective lived with his wife and family in Gravesend. Colton attended Liu’s funeral at the Ralph Aievoli Funeral Home in Dyker Heights. Ramos lived with his wife and two sons in Cypress Hills.

The two men had the rank of police officer at the time of their deaths. Police Commissioner William Bratton announced at Ramos’s funeral that Ramos and Liu were both being promoted to of detective.

“Detective Wenjian Liu and Detective Rafael Ramos passed away doing what they loved, and at the very least we should honor their memory, which epitomizes their courageous and noble service. It is important that their deaths are not in vain. Awarding Congressional Gold Medals to these two detectives will help preserve their memory and memorialize their lives in which they helped and served countless others,” Colton wrote in his letter to Boehner.

Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island/Gravesend/Bensonhurst), who also attended Liu’s funeral, said he was struck by the fact that large numbers of civilians, not just cops, lined the streets outside the funeral home.

“Many residents came out,” Treyger told Community Board 11 at a recent board meeting in Bensonhurst.

“Southern Brooklyn was impacted by the deaths of these two cops,” Treyger added.


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