Wake County

Tribute to slain New York police officers planned in Raleigh

State NAACP President Rev. William Barber Jr. and Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown will be among those speaking at an event Sunday to pay tribute to the two police officers shot and killed in New York City last weekend.

The observance is sponsored by the Raleigh Martin Luther King Committee and will begin at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church on South Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh.

New York police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed as they sat in their police car last Saturday by a man who had posted angry threats on social media about the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers. The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then ran into a subway station and killed himself.

"We think it both fitting and appropriate for the King Committee to invite the public to this important community observance, for it was Dr. King who espoused so strongly the virtues of nonviolence and brotherhood among all peoples," said Rev. Dumas Harshaw Jr., pastor of First Baptist Church and chairman of the committee.

Among the others planning to attend the observance are state Rep. Rosa Gill, state Sen. Dan Blue Jr. and Wake County Board of Commissioners chairman James P. West.