The Tompkins Houses was the scene of a horrific crime last year — the execution of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Weinjain Liu — shot while sitting in their patrol car.
“They’re going to be linked together forever in history as a result of those tragic assassinations,” said Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. “We want to lift up their legacy together because of their service and their sacrifice.”
Congressman Jeffries wants the officers’ legacies to be preserved here — at the Tompkins Houses community center. Jeffries sent a letter Monday to the New York City Housing Authority Chairwoman formally asking for the building to be renamed.
“This horrific incident shocked the conscience of the nation,” Jeffries wrote. “Renaming the Tompkins Community Center to coincide with the anniversary of the tragic assassinations of Detectives Ramos and Liu will respectfully pay homage to the ultimate sacrifice they made in defense of Bedford Stuyvesant.”
Ramos and Liu were killed December 20, 2014. Ramos was a father of two, and about to become an NYPD chaplain. Liu was a 7-year police veteran who had just gotten married. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton posthumously promoted them to detectives. They have been honored in several ways including the renaming of the Brooklyn streets where they lived. But Jeffries says they should be memorialized here too.
“This will be the community center and part of the reason is because detectives Ramos and Liu cared about the community and the problems that were occurring, and wanted to provide the young people in the Bedford Stuyvesant community and throughout Brooklyn with a better way of life,” the congressman said.
Reactions at the public housing development are mixed.
“If they put their names, that would be good,” one resident said.
“I don’t want it to change because those policemen didn’t know about this area,” said another. “They didn’t even live here. So why should we give them their names?”
NYCHA says it will review the request