SEAFORD, N.Y. (AP) — Thousands of police from around the country spilled out of a church into the streets surrounding a slain New York City officer's funeral Friday, calling for respect and understanding at a time when law enforcement is being deeply scrutinized.
Busloads of officers arrived from as far as California, Louisiana and Chicago for Officer Brian Moore's funeral on Long Island. As a hearse carried his coffin to the cemetery, they lined up 10 and 20 deep to salute him.
"Brian's death comes at a time of great challenge" for officers nationwide, who are "increasingly bearing the brunt of loud criticism," Police Commissioner William Bratton said.
Only five months earlier, the New York Police Department mourned two other officers who were killed in an ambush by a gunman who said he wanted revenge for police killings of civilians.
"What is lost in the shouting and the rhetoric is the context of what we do," said Bratton, his voice cracking as he posthumously promoted the 25-year-old Moore to the rank of detective. "What is lost is the way we already work together, the ways we get it right. ... What is lost is that public safety is a shared responsibility."
Moore died Monday, two days after he was shot in Queens. He and his partner were in street clothes in an unmarked car and were stopping a man suspected of carrying a handgun when the suspect shot him in the head.
Moore's death came amid a national debate about policing, race and deadly force following the recent killings of unarmed black men by officers in several cities, including New York and Ferguson, Missouri.
Moore's funeral was guarded by snipers on the roof of a nearby elementary school as a police helicopter hovered in the three-mile no-fly zone authorities imposed overhead.
Moore was the son, nephew and cousin of NYPD officers, and two other cousins serve on Long Island.
The suspect in Moore's killing, Demetrius Blackwell, is being held without bail and has not entered a plea.