The killings of two police officers in Brooklyn on Saturday set off what the New York Times calls “a bunker mentality across the department,” with sentries posted outside station houses and officers barred from patrolling alone. “Watch what I'm going to do,” Ismaaiyl Brinsley told two strangers on a street moments before moving toward a marked police car, armed with a silver handgun. He fired four shots through the closed window of the passenger side and fled. Both officers died, and Brinsley then killed himself on a nearby subway platform.
The Wall Street Journal said the officers’ murders “emboldened police and their supporters to lash out at weeks of nationwide protest and criticism that they say have left officers more vulnerable.” Police Commissioner, William Bratton visited the memorial site where officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, were shot dead. Officers who have “felt besieged by political attacks found themselves contemplating the specter of far greater peril,” the Times said. There were at least a dozen violent threats against the police on social media. Most so far were found to pose no credible risk to officers. Brinsley, a Brooklyn native with a troubled past and a history of arrests in Georgia and Ohio, had made a series of similar online threats before the killings, which officials called an “assassination.” He drifted in and out of jail and the lives of his relatives, who told the police of undiagnosed mental problems.