Wall Street Journal
Upd. May 8, 2015 8:02 p.m. ET


Thousands at funeral where NYPD promotes Officer Brian Moore to detective

 

Officer Brian Moore died after being shot while trying to stop a suspect

By SOPHIA HOLLANDER and JOE JACKSON

 
MARY ALTAFFER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Officers pay their respects Friday to policeman Brian Moore, who was fatally shot on May 5 in Queens Village.
PETER J. SMITH FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Thousands of mourners flooded the streets surrounding a Long Island church on Friday to pay their final respects for Officer Moore, whose casket, pictured above, was carried out of St. James Roman Catholic Church after his funeral. 
AGATON STROM FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Moore, a 25-year-old officer, was shot by a man he stopped on Saturday night while on patrol with his partner in an unmarked vehicle. Demetrius Blackwell, 35, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, though Mr. Blackwell has maintained his innocence.
RICHARD DREW/PRESS POOL
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, pictured above, attended and spoke at the funeral.
SHANNON STAPLETON/REUTERS
Mr. Moore’s parents Raymond, second from right, and Irene, fourth from right, are shown above during the funeral service at the St. James Roman Catholic Church, in Seaford, N.Y.
RICHARD DREW/PRESS POOL
Officer Moore joined the NYPD in 2010 and had earned medals for his performance, making 159 arrests, police said. He was the son of a retired police sergeant.
SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES
Officer Moore died Monday after being shot Saturday in the face. He was hailed by Police Commissioner William Bratton as “an exceptional young officer” who ascended to an elite anticrime unit.
DOUG KUNTZ FOR NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT
Thousands of law enforcement officers line the streets of Seaford, N.Y., for the funeral of Officer Moore.
MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS
Officer Moore was the fifth New York City police officer to be shot while on duty since December.
MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS
Police officers line the streets as a hearse carrying the body of police officer Brian Moore proceeds to St. James Roman Catholic Church for his funeral service.
AGATON STROM FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Thousands of police officers from New York and beyond paid their respects on Friday, including Kevin Molis, chief of police in Malden, Mass., who said Officer Moore’s funeral was just the latest of many police funerals he had attended.
MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS
Kevin O’Conner of Bethpage, N.Y., paid his respects outside the funeral service for the slain officer.

ince he was a boy on Long Island, dressing up in uniform on Halloween and listening to his father, uncle and cousins swap stories about their time on the force, Brian Moore dreamed of becoming a police officer.

Five years after he realized his dream, more than 20,000 fellow officers from across the U.S. gathered Friday to memorialize the 25-year-old New York City police officer. They flooded the streets with a tide of blue surrounding St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford on Long Island.

Officer Moore died Monday after he was shot last Saturday while on patrol in Queens.

“It’s not many of us who can say we lived out a dream,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said at the funeral, just before posthumously promoting Officer Moore to detective first grade. “But Brian could. He dreamed of following his dad, whom he loved so much.”

Speakers described Officer Moore as the consummate caring policeman, the kind of dedicated officer whose work on the beat each day has been has overshadowed by the national furor over police violence.

“Brian Moore represented the best of New York City. He was brave, for sure. But his bravery was matched by his compassion,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“He devoted his whole being to the job. He cared so deeply. He worked so hard.”

During the funeral, NYPD Chaplain Msgr. Robert J. Romano addressed the palpable feeling of helplessness in the sanctuary.

“We might ask ourselves where was God last Saturday,” he said. “I can tell you he was in a young man named Brian who accepted a call, a vocation just like priests have a vocation. Brian had a vocation. A vocation to be a peacemaker, to be a cop, and to be a hero.”

Officer Moore joined the NYPD in 2010 and had earned medals for his performance, making 159 arrests, police said. He was the son of a retired sergeant and had an uncle and two cousins who were also police officers.

Officer Moore’s profile—a mix of youthful enthusiasm, seriousness about policing and the way his personal and extended NYPD families blended seamlessly—seemed to strike a nerve with officers who journeyed to Seaford from across the country.

Police work is “a vocation, not a job,” said Kevin Molis, chief of police in Malden, Mass., who had left home at 3 a.m. to make the trip to Long Island.

After the funeral, Mr. de Blasio shook hands with Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, who greeted Mr. de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, with a kiss on the cheek. It was a warm moment between two men who have clashed over Mr. de Blasio’s language regarding the NYPD.

Mr. Lynch praised what he called a shift in tone. The mayor’s recent “words are measured and careful,” Mr. Lynch said before the service. “There’s support and that’s important.”

Officer Moore was shot Saturday night in the Queens Village section of Queens while he and his partner were on patrol in an unmarked vehicle. Authorities say the two spied a man tugging at his waistband. “Do you have something in your waistband?” Officer Moore asked the man.

The suspect allegedly replied, “Yeah, I got something,” then produced his gun and shot Officer Moore in the face.

Demetrius Blackwell, 35, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Through his lawyer, Mr. Blackwell has maintained his innocence.

Mourners began gathering Friday morning under a bright spring sky. Residents gathered on their doorsteps to watch the emotional scene.

A roar eventually rose as hundreds of police motorcycles rolled down the street before the appearance of the hearse carrying Officer Moore’s body to the church.

Fran Pecoraro, 61, stood on the front stairs of a nearby home and watched the crowd. She had come out “just to let the police department know we support them 100% in everything they do and always pray for their safety.”

Officer Moore’s father, mother and sister stood at the front of a line of relatives waiting to enter the church. Slowly, officers lifted the back door of the hearse and withdrew the coffin, draped in an NYPD departmental flag.

An honor guard of eight officers lifted the casket and marched slowly into the funeral home. Bagpipes played “Amazing Grace.” Thousands of officers saluted.

Afterward, as Officer’s Moore’s body was removed from the church, nine police helicopters flew low overhead in the missing man “V” formation. Two NYPD trumpeters, atop a police truck, sounded.

Deputy Inspector Michael Coyle, commanding officer of the 105th precinct, to which Officer Moore was attached, then handed the folded NYPD departmental flag to Officer Moore’s tearful mother and embraced her.

Write to Sophia Hollander at sophia.hollander@wsj.com