Thousands mourn a killed officer who ‘made a difference’

As thousands of police officers from New York to California gathered outside, the funeral for Officer Jason Rivera, who was shot dead last week in Harlem, was held Friday morning at St. Patrick with a solemn lecture and moving reflections that recall Officer Rivera’s dream of making a meaningful change in his community and the force.

Commissioner Keechant Sewell described Officer Rivera’s infectious spirit and profound effect on those around him.

“This has always been a city of light, and cop Jason Rivera is one of the brightest,” she said. “Jason has overcome every challenge that crosses his path.”

Her reflections come in the midst of the funeral, in which both Officer Rivera and his partner, Wilbert Mora27 years old, already in the mind of the audience. Officer Mora also died of his injuries, making it the first mass shooting in more than seven years in which two city officers were killed together on the job.

“The horror that took their lives is a horror to every kind, caring human being in this city and beyond,” Ms. Sewell said. “Their assassinations, the use of Jason’s thousand-watt smile, have lifted the spirits of those fortunate enough to know that he has shaken sensibilities and brought despair to others.”

The speech at the ceremony was Ms. Sewell’s most significant public speech since she took over the department less than a month ago, having been chosen for the job by Mayor Eric Adams ahead of several other candidates with different reasons. richer calendar, as he praised her level of emotional intelligence. .

In her spirited eulogy, Miss Sewell recalled what she said was Officer Rivera’s impressive level of maturity at such a young age – which she said was “popularized by his colleagues”. many times” – while gently teasing him for his sporting allegiance.

“When Jason was a kid, he played a lot of sports and he loved the New York Mets with all his heart – because he didn’t know any better,” she said, and the audience laughed.

As a sea of ​​blue uniforms gathered under the falling snow outside the famous 5th Avenue church, listening to the speeches of the speakers, Governor Kathy Hochul and other state and city officials outside in. Officer Rivera’s wife, Dominique Luzuriaga, and his brother, Jeffrey Rivera, spoke emotionally at the service.

Credit…Desiree Rios for The New York Times

Officer Rivera is a 22-year-old recruit who was assigned to Area 32 in Harlem last year. In many ways, he represents the new generation of Latino officers rising up in a police department that was once overwhelmingly white.

His family immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic, and he joins the force motivated by a desire to strengthen the relationship between the police and the people they serve, after witnessing first-hand when he Growing up, how easily stress can arise.

On Friday, Commissioner Sewell named Officer Rivera after promoting him to first-degree detective, the highest rank for a detective, part of a long tradition in the department for officers killed while in action. duty performance.

Credit…Todd Heisler / The New York Times

Other officers in the area shared their grief over Officer Rivera’s untimely death at last week’s ceremonies and memorials.

They are among the Many people all over the city were shaken in the days after the shooting, when gunfire erupted in a general sense of anguish in New York as an officer lost his job. During the first 20 days of the year, three other officers were shot, but all survived without debilitating injuries.

Credit…Dieu-Nalio Chéry for The New York Times / 30263561A

A private ceremony for Officer Rivera was scheduled for late Friday at a cemetery in Hartsdale, NY. Details of Officer Mora’s funeral were not released as of Thursday night.

They were part of a team of three officers who responded last Friday night to a 911 call at a Harlem apartment: a mother asked police to speak to her adult son, Lashawn McNeil, 47, after he verbally threatened her. She did not mention the weapon in the apartment.

When officers arrived, they met the mother at the door, who told them her son was in the back bedroom, police said. She asked him to come out from the room at the end of the long and narrow corridor. But he did not join them.

Credit…Stephanie Keith for The New York Times

Officers Rivera and Mora walked down the hallway toward the door, one of them calling out to Mr. McNeil. The third officer, an intern, stayed to talk to his mother and a brother who was also there.

But as the two officers approached the bedroom, Mr McNeil opened fire with a pistol, seriously injuring them both. The third officer shot Mr McNeil twice, in the head and arm. He died on monday. Thousands mourn a killed officer who ‘made a difference’

Fry Electronics Team

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