A gunman who shot and killed two New York officers in cold blood in their police car on Sunday had used Instagram to announce his plan.
Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a 28-year-old black man, said the attack was in retribution for police killings of black men.
Brinsley gunned down two officers as they sat in a cruiser in broad daylight near a bustling intersection in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, according to Reuters.
He had traveled to New York from Baltimore, where he had earlier shot and wounded his girlfriend.
Brinsley fled and later used his silver semi-automatic handgun to take his own life by shooting himself in the head on a crowded subway platform.
The officers, who were Hispanic and Asian-American.
Yuseff Hamm, an NYPD police officer, said that week earlier, he had witnessed thousands of protesters chant “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now”.
They were protesting the killing of black teenagers by policemen in New York and Ferguson, Missouri.
“When you have a chant going on like that, and no one addresses it, and then a week later, these killings come to fruition, I’m shaken,” said Hamm, an African American, whose usual stint is in the conditions unit in the 106th precinct in Queens.
“The rhetoric that’s going around, left unchecked, is very dangerous, and it invites people to do crazy nonsense.”
The killing of the two police officers cames at a time when police in New York already feel vulnerable.
A wave of national protests has targeted them for what demonstrators have characterized as their “aggressive” and “extreme” tactics.
That includes the controversial “stop and frisk” program, in which thousands of black and Latino men were targeted for no ostensible reason other than the color of their skin.
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