Thousands lined up outside and around the Greater Allen A.M.E Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens, Wednesday afternoon, to memorialize NYPD Officer Randolph Holder, who was killed last week while on plainclothes patrol in East Harlem. Holder and his partner caught up with a gunman, who was fleeing the scene of a separate gunfight, when the alleged suspect fired one fatal shot at Holder.
Family, friends, and a crush of fellow police officers, all in their blue dress uniforms, attended the services to honor the fourth NYPD officer to die in the line of duty in as many as ten months.
Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton eulogized the fallen officer. The potent tension between the mayor and the law-enforcement community, so present at the funerals of slain cops Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in December, seemed to have waned in the wake of Holder’s death. “We can learn from him that the police and the community must become one,” de Blasio said in his remarks, “because at the root of it all, we are one.”
Holder, who wanted to become a detective, achieved the distinction in death. Bratton promoted Holder at his funeral, and honored him with a gold badge, with the number 9657 — the same his father, Randolph Holder, Sr., wore as a cop in Guyana. Bratton presented the elder Holder with his son’s golden shield.
Holder will be buried in his native Guyana. His fellow NYPD officers will travel with his casket, a final good-bye and salute.