A final turn of the key: Downtown cops leave slain officers’ lockers as memorials

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

The lockers once used by Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, the Downtown police officers murdered in Bedford-Stuyvesant in December, have been packed with mementos and sealed up for good, never to be used by another cop.

“As long as this building stands, those lockers are going to be memorializ­ed,” said Capt. Sergio Centa, the 84th Precinct’s commanding officer.

The precinct has also made a display out of the dozens of patches police departments from around the country donated in the weeks following the officers’ deaths, at the hands of a gunman who called the act revenge for police killings of unarmed black men. The precinct and its community council have also put up plaques honoring Liu and Ramos. Centa said the markers are more permanent than the huge amount of sympathy gifts that piled up at the station house and the site of the ambush in the weeks after the murders.

“The flowers don’t last. The candles don’t last. We wanted to see something on the wall,” Centa said.

The plaques are not the official police department-issued brass ornaments. Those will be unveiled at a ceremony on the one year anniversary of the officers’s deaths.

“We thought it was important to get something up now,” Centa said.

The plaques were presented at last week’s community council meeting in the muster room, with family members of the slain officers in attendance. Centa said Liu and Ramos were very family-oriented.

“I’ve gotten to know the families pretty well,” he said. “I got to know what good families these guys came from, and that they were the centers of these families.”

Centa said the officers under his command all enjoyed working with Liu and Ramos, and have had to lean on each other while trying to move past their loss. It is not a new experience for many in the 84th Precinct, which lost Officer Alain Schaberger in 2011 when a domestic abuser pushed him over the railing of a stoop in Boerum Hill.

“Many of these officers have been through this before, which helps them, but also piles on,” Centa said. “Three officers in four years. It’s just not fair.”

Centa said the outpouring of support in the immediate aftermath of the latest killings was definitely appreciated.

“It was unbelievab­le,” he said. “There were visitors from all over every day.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260–8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: