CaribWorldNews, BROOKLYN, NY, Thurs. June 4, 2009: A Panamanian American cop, shot to death by another in an apparent case of mistaken identify, will be laid to rest today.
Officer Omar Edwards, 25, is set to be buried following a 10 a.m. funeral service this morning at the Our Lady of Victory Church, 583 Throop Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.
On Wednesday, hundreds gathered for a second day at the Woodward Funeral Home to say goodbye even as Police Commissioner Ray Kelly promoted the slain officer to first-grade detective, a symbolic move that allows his wife and two sons to collect more insurance and pension money.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to officially announce the posthumous promotion this morning.
Edwards joined the force in July 2007. He was in Harlem in street clothes last Thursday night chasing a man who broke in to his car with his gun drawn. A plainclothes officer shot him after he turned towards him with gun in hand.
Andrew Dunton, 30, of Ridge, a four-year veteran, shot Edwards three times, killing the Brooklyn resident.
His death has been deemed as racially motivated by some, who cite dozens of police killings of black men in New York City.
Some officials, including Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem), have asked the Justice Department to open a federal investigation of the case.
Rangel also said last week`s fatal shooting may not have happened if Edwards had been white. `There’s no question that being [a person] of color puts you in jeopardy in communities like Harlem and East Harlem,` he said.
Officer Edwards is survived by his wife Danielle and two children.