In the days since 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu while they sat in their patrol cars in Brooklyn, the New York Police Department has been staying on high alert — particularly on social media. Over the last few days, NYPD has arrested seven people who allegedly made anti-police threats, the department said on Wednesday. The alleged threats largely came from online accounts, which authorities have been monitoring for suspicious activity.
According to CNN, the NYPD has scoured hundreds of social media posts since Saturday's deadly shooting. 911 calls are also being monitored, and all potential threats are "investigated immediately to determine the credibility and origin of the information," the NYPD said in a statement.
A police spokesperson confirmed to CNN that some of the recent arrests that have been made included a 26-year-old man who reportedly said on Facebook that he was preparing to kill police officers in a caption for a picture of weapons; a 41-year-old who allegedly called into the precinct where Ramos and Liu worked and said he wanted to kill more police officers; and a man who allegedly threatened to kill police officers while talking on his cellphone in public.
The NYPD is paying close attention to alleged threats made on social media or via phone calls following the discovery of Brinsley's Instagram account, which alluded to shooting cops alongside a picture of a pistol. Brinsley also used the hashtag #ShootThePolice, and wrote in the post, "This May Be My Final Post … I'm Putting Pigs In A Blanket."
As the NYPD continues to assess possible threats, the department is also preparing for an emotional two days. Officer Ramos, a 40-year-old father of two, will be honored on Friday in a wake held at Christ Tabernacle Church in the Glendale neighborhood of Queens. Thousands are expected to attend Ramos' wake, and the NYPD said the department will be closing several streets in the area. Ramos' funeral is scheduled for Saturday. Vice President Joe Biden said on Friday that he will travel to New York and attend the funeral.
JetBlue Airlines also announced this week that it will offer free flights to any police officers around the country who wish to attend Ramos' funeral. The airline added that it's facilitating the travel arrangements for Officer Liu's family members in China. "We're honored to do what we can to support the communities we serve," a JetBlue spokesperson said in a statement.
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