Funeral of Slain NYPD Officer Draws Thousands

NEW YORK (AP) -
Hundreds of New York police officers gather Wednesday on a Queens street for the funeral of Officer Randolph. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Hundreds of New York police officers gather Wednesday on a Queens street for the funeral of Officer Randolph. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
NYPD Chief William Bratton presents Randolph Holder Sr. with his son’s new detective shield after being posthumously promoted during the funeral service Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
NYPD Chief William Bratton presents Randolph Holder Sr. with his son’s new detective shield after being posthumously promoted during the funeral service Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Thousands of police officers packed rain-swept streets on Wednesday outside the funeral for a slain New York Police Department officer with deep law enforcement roots in his native Guyana.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton were among the hundreds of mourners in Queens paying tribute to Officer Randolph Holder.

“All of New York City is in pain at this moment,” de Blasio said in his eulogy. “Our hearts and our prayers are with this good family.”

The mayor spoke of how Holder came to the United States 12 years ago with a dream of becoming a police officer — like his father and grandfather had in Guyana — and “make the world better.”

Holder, 33, “served as a peace officer in the truest sense of the word,” the mayor said. “He loved to be in the community. He loved to connect to the people around him.”

Holder, a five-year veteran, was killed Oct. 20 while responding to a report of shots fired and a bicycle stolen at gunpoint in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood. Tyrone Howard was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on charges he hopped off the stolen bicycle and shot Holder in the head.

When they got the call, Holder and his partner “went toward that danger. They didn’t pull back,” Bratton said in his remarks. “Why? It’s what we do. … in Guyana or Harlem. It’s what we do.”

Bratton announced that he was posthumously promoting Holder to detective and issuing him a new gold shield with No. 9657 — the same number of the badge worn by his father, Randolph Sr. There was loud applause when he left the podium to give the badge to the father.

Holder is to be buried later this week in Georgetown, Guyana.