NEW YORK, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio led a moment of silence Tuesday at City Hall in honor of slain NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
Liu and Ramos died Saturday after they were shot execution-style while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn. The shooter was identified as Ismaaiyla Brinsley, who mentioned on social media he sought revenge for Eric Garner, who died after an NYPD officer put him in a chokehold earlier this year.
Garner's death and a grand jury's decision not to indict the officer who performed the chokehold sparked protests throughout the city and across the nation.
"It's a time of pain for our city," de Blasio said prior to the moment of silence at 2:47 p.m., the time of the officers' deaths. "It's a time of mourning for two good families and it's so important that we all stand in solidarity with them.
"Officer Ramos and Officer Liu believed in something, they believed in making this world better, they believed in making this city better," de Blasio said. "They gave their lives for the belief that we could do better, that we could come together, that we could keep people safe.
"There's a lot of pain right now. We have to work our way through that pain. We have to keep working to bring police and community closer together," de Blasio said. "We have to work for that more perfect union. We have to put the divisions of the past behind us. They were left to all of us in this generation, we have to overcome them. We need to protect and respect our police just as our police protect and respect our communities. We can strike that balance. We must."
"God bless you all and please embrace those around you as a symbol of our belief that we will all move forward together," the mayor said at the conclusion of the moment of silence.
Earlier in the day, de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray visited a makeshift memorial for the officers, where they bowed their heads for several minutes and placed a bouquet of flowers at the site.