Racial tensions flare after police killings in US

The murders of two New York City officers ambushed in their car in Brooklyn by a man claiming to be retaliating for police killings of unarmed black men prompted calls to tamp down racial tensions.

The ambush of Officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, followed online postings by the man, identified by police as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, referring to the deaths of Eric Garner of Staten Island and Michael Brown of Missouri. In both cases, grand juries declined to charge police with wrongdoing, prompting nationwide protests.

The two officers probably never even saw Brinsely before he shot them from behind. One local who walked up to the crime scene later said that “a lot of people were clapping and laughing,” saying “serves them right.”

A fugitive trying to evade an arrest warrant shot a third white Tampa-area police officer and then ran him over early Sunday, killing the officer, police said.

The black fugitive crashed his car into a pole and another vehicle after running over Tarpon Springs officer Charles Kondek. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.

The shooting did not appear to have any connection to the ambush killings of two New York police officers a day earlier.

Condek, 45, had been with the local force for 17 years. Originally from New York, Kondek previously served on the New York City Police Department for more than five years, authorities said.

Kondek was the father of six children.