10 things two NYPD ambush attacks have in common

We must recognize there are haters out there — prepare yourself to prevail in all encounters with them


On January 27, 1972 Officers Greg Foster and Rocco Laurie stood on the corner of 11th Street and Avenue B in New York City, wearing their NYPD uniforms. 

They both were athletes and enjoyed competition. In a time when future college professors were placing bombs that could possibly kill citizens, cops, soldiers, and judges in protest of the Vietnam War, these two had both proudly enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. They volunteered for — and had both survived — that war.

Foster and Laurie were on foot patrol that evening in New York City when three or four members of the Black Liberation Party crossed the street walking toward them. These young men were trying to look nonchalant and go unnoticed. They succeeded because people who appear to be obeying the law are not stopped by the police.

As the men passed the officers they turned and pulled out concealed pistols. While standing behind the officers they opened fire and shot these two partners in the back. As the Marines who had survived Vietnam lay wounded on the pavement, their attackers stood over them and pumped rounds into them and then fled. 

Officer Laurie, a white officer, was shot six times, and Officer Foster, an African American, was shot eight times. They were both shot for their color — the color of their uniforms.

Wenjin Liu and Rafael Ramos

Fast forward 42 years to December 20, 2014, when two officers were in a marked NYPD patrol car parked near the intersection of Myrtle and Tompkins in Brooklyn. Officers Wejin Liu and Rafael Ramos are assigned to be part of an anti-terrorism drill. 

Officer Ramos is married and has a thirteen year old son. Officer Liu is a newlywed. Perhaps not even in the back of their minds is the scene witnessed just days earlier as Officers Liu and Ramos watched demonstrators chant:

“What do we want?” 

“Dead cops!” 

“When do we want it?” 

“Now!” 

These two sheepdogs had no idea they would be the sacrificial lambs to satiate these haters. 

As Liu and Ramos sat in their squad car, a man who had posted to a social media site his intent to “put wings on pigs today,” walked up nonchalantly enough to go unnoticed by the officers. He suddenly pulled out a silver semi-automatic handgun and shot Liu and Ramos execution style. Both officers died.

The Commonalities

These incidents are 42 years apart, but they have striking resemblances to each other: 

  • Each pair of men was friends as well as partners, because of the content of their character, not the color of their skin. 
  • All were in their own eyes one color, NYPD blue.
  • All were all ambushed and killed in the line of duty, by racist haters. 
  • All would have gladly laid down their lives for each other if given the opportunity.
  • All were prepared on a daily basis to place themselves in harm’s way, in defense of every member of the community regardless of race, creed, color, or station.
  • Each one perceived if they were called upon to risk their lives they would be afforded a fighting chance of survival. They were given no such chance.
  • All four were killed by men who were revved up by a false narrative and the rhetoric from phony leaders.
  • All pursued criminality, not color.
  • All were called, “pigs,” by their killers. All police officers nationwide have embraced this moniker for they carry on with great “Pride, Integrity, and Guts!”
  • All wore their uniform with pride and in that uniform they died.

Beware of Haters

Not only should the way these officers died be remembered, but also the way they lived. They all found a shared friendship, a shared mission and camaraderie that transcended race. These officers proved that a life motivated by love of God, country, family, the law, and your fellow officers makes for a better life no matter how long that life is. It is far more rewarding than a life filled with hate.

We must recognize there are haters out there — prepare yourself to prevail in all encounters with them. 

Even though there are many haters out there, for our own good, we must strive daily, to never become one. 

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