For the fourth time in just 11 short months, a sea of Blue gathered to say their final goodbye to yet another NYPD officer.
Officer Randolph Holder was shot dead by a career criminal in East Harlem last week. A five-year veteran of the NYPD, Holder was only 33 years old. The criminal, Tyrone Howard, was out on the streets after being given drug rehab instead of jail time, thanks to a Democrat judge who overlooked Howard’s more than two dozen previous arrests.
On a rainy and windy Wednesday afternoon, an estimated 25,000 of New York’s finest–as well as officers from across the country–gathered outside the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens. They stood at attention while the late NYPD officer Holder was mourned and remembered.
Inside the church, Police Commissioner Bratton posthumously promoted Officer Holder to Detective First Grade, giving him the badge number #9657 – his father’s former badge number.
“Officer Randolph Holder, you are relieved of your duty,” Bratton said. “We are now sending you off to your next assignment as a guardian at the gates of heaven.”
Bratton also addressed the controversial debate as to whether crime was rising around the country due to cops pulling back from their policing, and whether they are perhaps hesitating to act due to the growing atmosphere of scrutiny from the media and political figures.
“There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether public safety is slipping, about whether crime is moving up or down, about whether the anti-cop sentiment has made our work more dangerous, about whether cops are pulling back,” Bratton said. “The fact of the matter is, it’s always been potentially dangerous. Shooting, robberies and murders are near historic lows but pockets of crime remain in our city, because there are evil people in this world. Most people avoid the evil ones at all costs. As cops we seek them out.”
In addition to the Police Commissioner remarks, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered a eulogy for the fallen officer, the fourth time in just less than a year. This time, while hailing the officer, Mayor de Blasio used his speech to make a political statement about the need for federal gun control.
“We have changes to make so we don’t lose more good men and women like Officer Holder,” de Blasio said. “In our nation, changes must be made to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. In Holder’s name, we will not give up.”
Reverend Al Sharpton was supposed to be in attendance at the funeral, as well as give a eulogy during the ceremony but he declined to attend saying he wanted to “avoid a sideshow.” Holder’s fiancé Mary Muhammad commented on Sharpton’s supposed appearance, stating her fiancée detested the “anti-cop” preacher.
“[Randolph] didn’t like Sharpton. He wasn’t a fan, so I don’t know why Sharpton is speaking,” Muhammad said. Sharpton claims Holder’s father asked for his presence at the funeral but will instead give $5,000 towards the funeral service.
Detective Holder will be buried in his native country Guyana. God-speed courageous Peacekeeper, you will never be forgotten.