05/08/2015 12:01 pm ET Updated May 08, 2016

Thousands Gather To Mourn At Slain NYPD Officer Brian Moore's Funeral

Police officer  Brian Moore's mother Irene, left, sister Christine, center, and father Raymond react as his casket is placed
Police officer Brian Moore's mother Irene, left, sister Christine, center, and father Raymond react as his casket is placed in the hearse after his funeral mass, Friday, May 8, 2015, at the St. James Roman Catholic church in Seaford, N.Y. The 25-year-old died Monday, two days after he was shot in Queens. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Adds comments from New York City mayor and police commissioner, background)

By Sebastien Malo

SEAFORD, N.Y., May 8 (Reuters) - A 25-year-old New York City officer shot in the head while on duty was laid to rest on Friday after mourners joined by thousands of police from around the United States paid respects to the man who had given "the last full measure of devotion" to his job.

Services for Brian Moore at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford, Long Island, east of New York City, were attended by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner William Bratton and dozens of other dignitaries.

"Brian Moore dedicated his life to protecting all of us," de Blasio said in eulogizing the decorated, five-year veteran of the New York City Police Department. "He gave what President Lincoln called the last full measure of devotion to that cause."

Moore, who followed his father and uncle into the NYPD, was shot over the weekend in the New York City borough of Queens after a man fired into his unmarked car. The officer was a member of an elite plainclothes anti-crime unit.

Two other New York City officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot dead while in a patrol car in Brooklyn last December. The accused gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who later killed himself, had posted social media messages suggesting he wanted to kill police in revenge for deaths of black men by police.

There were no indications that the suspect in Moore's shooting was similarly motivated.

Police Commissioner William Bratton, who promoted Moore posthumously to the rank of detective 1st grade, referenced the politically charged climate in which police in the United States are working following the deaths of several black men during encounters with law enforcement officers.

"Police officers across the country, they're increasingly bearing the brunt of loud criticism," the commissioner said. "We cannot be defined by that criticism."

Absent from Moore's funeral was any open sign of disdain for de Blasio, in contrast to services in December and January for the other two officers, when many police turned their backs on the mayor they accused of failing to support them.

When the solemn service ended, Moore's casket was carried by an honor guard past officers who stood at attention, as buglers played taps and nine helicopters flew overhead in a maneuver known as a "missing man" formation. Moore's weeping mother Irene and his father Raymond led mourners from the church.

The man suspected of killing Moore, 35-year-old Demetrius Blackwell, was arrested soon after the shooting and is in custody.


Police departments around the country are facing harsh criticism for the use of deadly force, specifically against black men.

A series of incidents with law enforcement that led to the deaths of black men have caused public uproar, demonstrations around the country, and calls for reviews of police tactics and officers to wear body cameras on duty.

Last week, six Baltimore officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after injuries sustained while in police custody.

On Friday, the U.S. Justice Department announced a federal civil rights investigation into the legality of the Baltimore police department's use of force and whether there are patterns of discriminatory policing. The Justice Department is already investigating Gray's death.

Other incidents that have triggered intense public outrage included the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in the New York City borough of Staten Island. (Writing by Frank McGurty and Toni Reinhold; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, G Crosse, Toni Reinhold)