NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The family of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black Missouri teen who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., are speaking out after two NYPD officers were ambushed and shot to death in Brooklyn.
"The family of Michael Brown condemns today's senseless killing of two NYPD officers. We reject any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement. It cannot be tolerated. We must work together to bring peace to our communities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officers' families during this incredibly difficult time," a statement from the family reads.
In November, a grand jury declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson in Brown's shooting death, sparking protests in NYC and across the country.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said at a news conference Saturday that shooting suspect, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had posted content that was "very anti-police" on Instagram, before shooting the two officers.
Brinsley allegedly posted a photo of a gun with the caption, "I'm putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let's take 2 of theirs," officials said. He used the hashtags 'Shootthepolice' 'RIPErivGardner (sic)' and 'RIPMikeBrown.'
The two officers have been identified as 40-year-old Rafael Ramos and 32-year-old Wenjian Liu.
The Ferguson Action Coalition, which organized response to the police killings, released a statement Saturday night following the officers' deaths.
"We are shocked and saddened by the news of two NYPD officers killed today in Brooklyn. We mourned with the families of Eric Garner and Mike Brown who experienced unspeakable loss, and similarly our hearts go out to the families of these officers who are now experiencing that same grief," the statement reads.
"Unfortunately, there have been attempts to draw misleading connections between this movement and today's tragic events. Millions have stood together in acts of non-violent civil disobedience, one of the cornerstones of our democracy. It is irresponsible to draw connections between this movement and the actions of a troubled man who took the lives of these officers and attempted to take the life of his ex-partner, before ultimately taking his own," it continues.
Later Saturday, police union officials blasted Mayor de Blasio, saying the blood of Liu and Ramos is on his hands.
"There's blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on the streets under the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what NYPD officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it can not be tolerated. That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor," Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said.
Lynch and de Blasio have been locked in a public battle over treatment of officers following the grand jury's decision not to indict an officer in the apparent chokehold death of Eric Garner.
The Staten Island man was stopped by police this summer on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. Amateur video captured an officer wrapping his arm around Garner's neck and wrestling him to the ground. Garner was heard gasping, "I can't breathe" before he loses consciousness and later dies.
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