The congregation that gathered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City last January to attend the funeral of murdered New York police officer Jason Rivera gave his widow a standing ovation when she criticized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in the eulogy she delivered for her husband.
Rivera, a 22-year-old police officer, was shot and killed on duty in Manhattan while responding to a 911 call on Jan. 21, 2022.
That was just three weeks after Bragg had taken office as district attorney.
A week after Rivera’s murder, his funeral mass was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. His widow, Dominique Luzuriaga, delivered a eulogy at that funeral mass in which she sharply criticized Bragg.
A video of that eulogy was posted online by CBS New York. It shows the congregation giving Rivera’s widow a standing ovation when she voiced her criticism of Bragg.
WPIX-TV in New York City also published a story that day with this headline: “Widow of slain NYPD Officer Rivera calls out Manhattan DA in emotional eulogy.”
“The system continues to fail us,” Luzuriaga said in the eulogy for her slain husband. “We are not safe anymore, not even the members of the service.
“I know you were tired of these laws, especially the ones from the new DA,” she said in words addressed to her deceased husband. “I hope he’s watching you speak through me right now.”
This is when–as this writer noted in a column published on March 22–the congregation in St. Patrick’s rose to its feet and gave Luzuriaga a long ovation.
“I am sure all of our blue family is tired, too,” said Luzuriaga. “But I promise—we promise—that your death won’t be in vain. I love you to the end of time. We’ll take the watch from here.”
Rivera and Officer Wilbert Mora, his partner, were shot in a Manhattan apartment where they and another officer had gone after a woman who lived there had placed a 911 call stating that she was in a dispute with her son. That son, LaShawn McNeil, shot Rivera and Mora. The third officer shot McNeil.
Officers Rivera and Mora both died and so, too, did McNeil.
On Jan. 15, 2022, less than two weeks after Bragg took office, the New York Post had run a story with this headline: “Crimefighter exodus: Manhattan prosecutors flee DA office after Bragg takes helm.”
This Post story said in part:
“Prosecutors in soft-on-crime Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office are flooding the exits amid his ‘radical shift in policy,’ the Post has learned.
“Bragg’s controversial ‘Day One’ memo issued on Jan. 3 told assistant district attorneys to not seek prison sentences for many criminals and to downgrade some felonies to misdemeanors. His leadership has already created a firestorm that has led to an online petition calling for him to be removed.”
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