Seaford is known as a quiet hamlet in Nassau County, but on Friday morning it served as a meeting place for thousands of police officers from New York City and Long Island who attended the service to pay their respects for NYPD officer Brian Moore. Moore died Monday night after being shot in the head by a gunman in Queens.
Later in the afternoon, residents looked on as a mass of blue took part in a procession down Hicksville Road at the close of the funeral for the fallen officer. Moore, who was raised in Massapequa, Long Island, was just 25.
“There are no NYPD officers,” said Freeport Police Department Chief Ray Horton. “We are all brothers and sisters,” Horton said regarding the solidarity shown for officers, irrespective of location.
“That is the point I would like to drive across,” he added.
The funeral service, held at the Saint James Roman Catholic Church on 80 Hicksville Road and the procession, was one of the most heavily attended police funerals in years. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner William Bratton and dozens of other dignitaries attended the funeral.
“Once more we find ourselves together in mourning,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, during the eulogy. “Brian’s death comes at a time of great challenge in this country.”
Mayor de Blasio, whose attendance at ceremonies for Moore and other slain officers has been an added source of tension, also spoke on the service.
“Brian Moore represented the best of New York City,” de Blasio said at the funeral on Friday. “He was brave, for sure, but his bravery was matched by his compassion.”
Moore is the third NYPD officer to be killed in the line of duty in just five months. Officer Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were gunned down in a patrol car by an ostensible retaliation for the death of Eric Garner last December after a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner’s death.
“I hope that it will change the conversation and show people how difficult the police offer’s job is and how their life can be snuffed out in a second before they even have a chance to defend themselves. And all this conversation about new procedures, while that’s very helpful, nothing takes the place of an officer on the street,” said Phillip Karasyk, attorney for the Detective’s and the Lieutenant Unions for the NYPD, after the service.
Moore’s death comes at a sensitive time for the New York Police Department, following a renewal of anti-cop sentiment because of the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining spinal cord injuries while in police custody. Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD were heavily criticized for aggressive policing Wednesday night’s protest last week in Manhattan, where more than 140 people were arrested.
“People are against the police department right now. We’re not popular,” said NYPD officer Hammond, who said it was permissible to use his last name. “It’s unfortunate that this is how we all get together,” Hammond said.