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Donations Stream In For Slain New York City Police Officers

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Police in New York City say they've arrested seven people for making threats against officers. These arrests have come in just the last week since two officers were killed while sitting in their patrol car. Today, thousands of uniformed men and women from around the country attended a church ceremony to honor one of them. Six pallbearers carried the casket of Rafael Ramos into the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Present on.

SIEGEL: Officer Ramos will be buried tomorrow. Funeral plans are still pending for the other officer, Wenjin Liu, as some family members travel from China. Earlier today, a local foundation announced it would pay the mortgages for the officers' families. From member station WNYC, Fred Mogul reports.

FRED MOGUL, BYLINE: Officer Ramos lived with his wife and two children in northern Brooklyn. Officer Liu was newly married, living with his parents and his wife in southern Brooklyn. Both men were shot while sitting in a police cruiser last Saturday. Frank Siller says the foundation he leads wanted to do something to help the two families, and this is what they came up with.

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FRANK SILLER: We want to pay their mortgages off in full, so they don't have that burden or that worry, because they have enough to go through. And this will ease some of that pain. That will lighten their load on their shoulders a little bit.

MOGUL: The Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created to honor Siller's brother, Stephen, a firefighter who died on 9/11. The foundation raises money to support the survivors of New Yorkers killed in action in law enforcement, emergency response and military combat. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who chairs the foundation's board, pledged $20,000 toward the $800,000 goal.

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RUDY GIULIANI: Had both those men lived, these families would have wanted for nothing for the rest of their lives. But why did these men die? They died for us. They died for you. And they died for me so that last night at Christmas we could go to bed with our children safe.

MOGUL: So far, the foundation has raised about $80,000. As Giuliani and the others spoke, Sanny Chen, Officer Liu's wife of only two months, sat quietly, her head bowed, occasionally weeping into a tissue. For NPR News, I'm Fred Mogul in New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.