RI troopers helped get commish back to NY in wake of shootings

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton seen during a news conference outside RI State Police Lincoln Barracks discussing the murders of two NYPD police officers. (Tatevik Aprikyan / WPRI 12)

LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was in Boston this past weekend, just about to start a vacation with his grand kids, when he first got news that two of his police officers had been shot in Brooklyn.

“I had just gotten up there and I got the call about the shootings and I started working my way back,” Bratton said Tuesday during a news conference outside Rhode Island State Police Lincoln barracks.

At some point while driving back to New York, Bratton contacted Rhode Island State Police. Troopers gave him an escort to TF Green Airport, where he then boarded a helicopter back to New York.

Bratton returned to Rhode Island Tuesday to pick up his vehicle. While here, he’s taking the opportunity to visit his grand children, ages 4 and 2, who are currently staying with relatives in Providence.

“They live in California and I don’t get many chances to see them,” Bratton said.

The visit won’t last long, however. The wake for Officer Rafael Ramos is set for Friday, with the funeral planned for Saturday.

“It’s a very tough time for the department, but we’re very comforted by the support of agencies like the Rhode Island State Police, who have been very gracious in their outreach and support,” Bratton said.

Col. Steven O’Donnell, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, said he’d ordered flags to half staff outside state police barracks in honor of the fallen officers, adding his agency would be sending a contingent to Ramos’ funeral and the funeral of Officer Wenjian Liu.

Bratton said Liu’s family is flying in from China, and arrangements had not yet been finalized.

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