Angelina Liu will never meet her father.
She was born on July 25, 2017, more than 2 ½ years after her dad, NYPD Officer WenJian Liu, and his partner, Rafael Ramos, were executed by a mentally-ill ex-con while they sat in their parked patrol car in Brooklyn.
But according to legislation introduced in the State Senate that would give inheritance rights to a child conceived after the unexpected death of a biological parent, Angelina would be considered a lawful heir, making her eligible for Social Security survivors’ benefits.
"I am incredibly hopeful that my husband WenJian Liu’s very own miracle baby, Angelina Liu, will be treated like all other line-of-duty children,” Sanny “Sunny” Liu said in statement from Brooklyn State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, the legislation’s primary sponsor. “Angelina truly is a miracle, a gift from above.”
Officer Liu, who was promoted to Detective after his death, and Sanny had been married three months when he was killed. The newlyweds had planned on having children. On the night of the shootings, Dec. 20, 2014, Ms. Liu asked that her husband’s sperm be preserved. The next night, she dreamed he handed her a baby girl.
Ms. Liu thanked the Detectives Endowment Association—singling out Vice President Paul DiGiacomo—the Senator and others for facilitating the legislation.
“If this bill passes, my daughter would have a better life and be treated like her line-of-duty peers,” she said. “We need to pass this legislation not just for me but for all line-of-duty widows who wish to raise their husbands' children and have the family their loved ones always wanted.”
Senator Gounardes, who represents the Gravesend neighborhood where Officer Liu and Sanny Liu made their home, said creating the law would rectify an injustice.
“Families like Detective Liu’s who suffer a terrible unexpected loss should not be prevented from receiving what is theirs because of antiquated laws,” he said in the statement. “Assisted reproductive technology after one partner dies is now a true option for families that deal with tragedy, including first-responders in the line of duty. By ensuring Detective Liu’s family and other families in the same situation are cared for, we honor the memory of Detective Liu and the tremendous sacrifice he made.”
Assemblyman Peter Abbate, the Chair of the Governmental Employees Committee, is expected to sponsor the bill in that chamber.
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