EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Sheldon Richardson was stunned when he heard the news Saturday that two New York City police officers were killed in the line of duty.
The New York Jets defensive lineman who has been critical of law enforcement in the past spoke out Sunday in support of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were killed in Brooklyn.
“Some innocent blood was spilled,” Richardson after New York’s 17-16 loss to New England. “I’m not with that at all. That’s the message that I’m trying to get across. It’s sad, real sad that two officers lost their lives and can’t go home to their families. It’s just tough, man.”
Richardson, from the St. Louis area, had recently been critical of the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, which didn’t indict officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown on Aug. 9. He wrote on Twitter after the jury’s decision that “they let this pig get off.”
Ramos and Liu were shot while sitting in their patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The suspect, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, wrote on an Instagram account: “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let’s take 2 of theirs,” officials said.
“I don’t know the guy, I don’t know the perp,” Richardson said. “I just heard that two officers lost their lives sitting in their car. I’m with the peaceful protests and stuff like that, defending your rights. … That’s not the way to go, murdering innocent cops.”
Jets center Nick Mangold wore a black NYPD cap while walking into MetLife Stadium off the team bus, and held it to his heart during the singing of the national anthem. The team also observed a 10-second moment of silence before the game.
Mangold said in the locker room that it was “a shame” to hear the news.
“Every one of those guys that’s out there, they risk their lives every day,” Mangold said. “They go out there to keep the community safe and for that to happen to those two guys, their families, that’s a raw deal.
“If wearing that (cap) gives them a little bit of comfort or shows support for those folks, I’m happy to do it.”
In St. Louis, Giants coach Tom Coughlin wore a black strip on the left shoulder and a peace sign under the “NY” logo on his pullover for the team’s game against the Rams.
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