Tags: NYPD | Funeral | Asian-American | de Blasio

NYPD Cop's Funeral Poses Cultural Challenges

By    |   Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 08:14 AM

Chinese organizers of the funeral of police officer Wenjian Liu are grappling with whether and how to bend cultural traditions to make the Buddhist ceremony more accessible to those unfamiliar with their rituals, The New York Times reported.

Liu and his partner Rafael Ramos were killed execution-style by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley in revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

The funeral for the first Chinese-American NYPD officer killed in the line of duty will take place in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Sunday. The day was selected as auspicious under Chinese tradition. Buddhist monks will pray for the 32 year-old Liu. Ceremonial paper money, symbolizing riches for the afterlife, will be burned.

Mourners at Chinese funerals cry, weep, and may prostrate themselves. Eulogies are not part of the ritual.

"The Catholic funeral is a celebration," said Hugh Mo, a former NYPD deputy police commissioner. "The person is going to a better place, the person is going to be seeing St. Peter. A Chinese funeral is not a celebration, it is a mourning," the Times reported.

Chinese funerals also tend to be private affairs. It is not clear what role Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton will play.

A procession will carry Liu's remains to a cemetery in the borough of Queens for internment at a site selected by a specialist in feng shui who harmonizes people with their environment, the Times reported.

The service will take place at Aievoli Funeral Home in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, once a heavily-Italian neighborhood and now increasingly home to Chinese immigrants.
The NYPD is working with family and community to align the department's ceremonial protocols for police funerals with Chinese tradition.

Some of Liu's family members, including those who arrived from China for Sunday's ceremony, do not speak English.His parents are said to be moved, though stunned by the many high-profile visitors who have paid their respects. The cop is survived by his widow Pei Xia Chen – they had been married only a few months.

Other Asian-American officers have died in the line of duty, but Liu's funeral is believed to be the first that will be rooted in Chinese traditions.
Meanwhile, New York City cops continue to protest what they see as de Blasio's contempt for the force. They have been turning their backs when he is present and are refusing to enforce low-level offenses such as traffic citations and quality-of-life misdemeanors, the Times reported.

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Chinese organizers of the funeral of police officer Wenjian Liu are grappling with whether and how to bend cultural traditions to make the Buddhist ceremony more accessible to those unfamiliar with their rituals, The New York Times reported.
NYPD, Funeral, Asian-American, de Blasio
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2014-14-31
Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 08:14 AM
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