Eight years ago the U.S. Congress designated September 25th as the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. Murder damages families and shocks communities, even people who never knew the victim. For those close to victims, murder often divides time into “before” and “after” with its irreversible finality. Losing a loved one to accident or illness, while deeply painful, is not quite the same as having someone taken from you by an intentional act of violence. Murder breaks hearts as few things can.
We in the policing profession have a particular interest and obligation in regard to this observance. As police, we are acutely aware of every murder. We investigate them and we strive mightily to prevent them. We see the damage they do first hand. We are often the ones who knock on the door or call with the devastating news. We share the burden of rebuilding the lives of families, friends, and communities. We meet many loved ones and witnesses during the course of homicide investigations. Most cases are solved quickly, some take years, and others remain unsolved, although we never close a murder case. Regardless of the progress of an investigation, the prosecution of the case, or the time that has passed, we understand that a victim’s family and friends struggle daily with feelings in inconsolable loss. Whether it's been just weeks or long decades, the loss and pain can be timeless. For all the past survivors of murder victims, and for any communities still ravaged by violence, we, as police officers, dedicate ourselves to making the entire city safer and preventing the next murder.
At the NYPD, we mourn three of our own, victimized by murder in the past year: Wenjien Liu, Rafael Ramos, and Brian Moore, all murdered in the line of duty. These were good, courageous officers, and their murders were a tragic waste. Their lives were rich in accomplishment and potential, and their deaths deeply wounded our NYPD family. We stand today with all the other families damaged by murder, united in the pain of loss, and by the principle that all lives matter.
The NYPD is committed to solving every murder, including cold cases from the past. We are interested in any information or leads that can help us do that. If you have information about a murder, you can anonymously report a tip to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS, or at: http://on.nyc.gov/1mcoO4O
We understand that losing someone to murder has life-long emotional consequences no matter how much time has passed. If you need assistance please call the Safe Horizon crime victims hotline at 866 689 HELP.