The wife of slain New York police officer Wenjian Liu spoke publicly for the first time on Monday night. Addressing the media in front of her Brooklyn home, Pei Xia Chen thanked the NYPD and New York residents for their support as she spoke of her husband — a seven-year veteran of the police force who Chen had married just two months ago.
"We would also like to express our condolences to the officer Ramos’ family," Chen said on Monday while flanked by family members.
This is a difficult time for both of our families, but we will stand together and get through this together. We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the police department, our neighbors and the entire New York City community, friends and co-workers for the help and support they provide.
"[Liu's] dreams were of providing for his current and growing family," Chen added.
According to Capital New York, Liu's family also released a statement providing new details about the fallen officer's life. The family said Liu immigrated to the United States on Dec. 24, 1994, from Canton, China. His family came here to "seek a better life," the statement said.
After graduating from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, Liu attended The College of Staten Island, where he was an accounting major. He joined the New York City police force in 2007, and his Chinese-language skills were an "asset to the police department." The family's statement added that Liu and Chen were "looking forward to having [their] own family."
Liu was patrolling the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon when he and his partner, Officer Rafael Ramos, were shot dead by 27-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a Baltimore resident. Police say the two officers were killed execution-style at close range.
An anonymous police source told The New York Daily News that Liu wasn't scheduled to work on Saturday, but filled in the shift for another officer. "He wasn’t supposed to be there," the unnamed source said.
Both New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited the families of Liu and Ramos on Monday. Cuomo told The New York Daily News that the Liu family was concerned about their financial future after their loss. "His mother is having some medical treatment; her son is paying for it — who is gonna pay that now?" Cuomo said.
Emerald Garner, the 22-year-old daughter of Eric Garner, also offered her condolences to the slain officers' families on Monday as she visited the makeshift memorial in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. In his social media posts before the shooting, Brinsley used the hashtag #RIPEricGarner, leading authorities to believe Brinsley was exacting revenge.
However, Emerald Garner said her family doesn't condone the senseless violence done in her father's name, telling reporters on Monday:
I just had to come out and let their family know that we stand with them, and I’m going to send my prayers and condolences to all the families who are suffering through this tragedy. I was never anti-police. Like I said before, I have family that’s in the NYPD that I’ve grown up around, family reunions and everything so my family you know, we’re not anti-police.
Images: screenshots/CBS News