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      Two Cops Were Shot to Death in Brooklyn on Saturday

      By Hanson O’Haver

      Contributor

      December 20, 2014

      Near the crime scene in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Photo by the author

      Two police officers were shot while in their patrol car this afternoon in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Both officers have died, and the suspect allegedly killed himself in a nearby subway station shortly afterward.

      According to the New York Times, the shooting took place just before 3 PM near the intersection of Myrtle and Tompkins Avenues. The Daily News is reporting that the shooter's name is Ismaaiyl Brinsley, and that he's a gang member from Baltimore who wounded his girlfriend outside that city before traveling to New York with the intention of carrying out this shooting.

      After allegedly shooting the police, Brinsley is said to have run to the Myrtle-Willoughby G train station, at which point he shot himself in the head, NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Royster told the Times.

      So far, reports haven't offered a coherent motive for the attack, which law enforcement officials are describing to local tabloids as "an execution"-style slaying possibly carried out in "revenge" for the non-indictment of the cop who put Eric Garner in a lethal chokehold on Staten Island this summer.

      On Twitter, many have been posting screen grabs purporting to show the gunman's now-deactivated Instagram account. One post is a picture of a gun along with the comment, "I'm Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours...... Let's Take 2 of Theirs #ShootThePolice #RIPErivGardner [sic] #RIPMikeBrown This May Be My Final Post [ten gunshot emojis, one gun emoji] I'm Putting Pigs In A Blanket." Another user claims that the man's account showed that he shot a woman earlier on Saturday.

      As we've reported, the last six months have seen tensions between the NYPD and citizens reach a boiling point. Tens of thousands of people have protested across the country, and Eric Garner's final words, "I can't breathe," have become something of a metaphor for life as a black American.

      On Friday, supporters of the NYPD held a counter-protest where things got heated almost immediately, a reflection of the tense climate in the city.

      Unsurprisingly, Bed-Stuy is currently awash with police cars, sirens, and helicopters. Head to VICE News for ongoing coverage of the shooting, with updates expected throughout the night as developments come in.

      Follow Hanson O'Haver on Twitter.

      Topics: Crime, Cops, New York, New York City, Bed-Stuy, Bedford-Stuyvesant, NYC, NYPD, Bill de Blasio, Bill Bratton, William J. Bratton, Eric Garner, Anti-police violence, Violence, Murder, Slayings, Executions, stateside

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