Politics

Widow of Slain NYPD Officer Delivers Moving Tribute, Slams DA: ‘We Are Not Safe’

NYPD Detective Jason Rivera’s funeral was held on Friday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Rivera and his partner Officer Wilbert Mora were shot to death when they responded to a domestic violence call on January 21.

A sea of blue came out for Rivera, even as it snowed.

Rivera was promoted to detective posthumously, and his widow eulogized him in a moving tribute during which she also attacked the Manhattan D.A. for his lax approach to prosecuting crimes, leaving people unsafe.

Both officers were just 22 years old. Rivera’s wife, Dominique Luzuriaga, struggled as she recalled that in their last conversation, they had an argument, that she decided to go home in an Uber rather than continue the argument over him using his work phone when they were together.

“You asked me if ‘you are sure that you don’t want me to take you home. It might be the last ride I give you.’ I said ‘no’ and that was probably the biggest mistake I ever made,” she said.

When she heard about the shooting, she desperately tried to call him, but he didn’t respond. Then she found out what happened.

“Walking all those steps seeing everybody staring at me was the scariest moment I’ve experienced. Nobody was telling me anything. Dozens of people were surrounding me and yet I felt alone. I couldn’t believe you left me. Seeing you in a hospital bed wrapped up in sheets, not hearing you when I was talking to you broke me.

“I asked why. I said to you, wake up baby, I’m here. The little bit of hope I had that you would come back to life just to say goodbye or say I love you one more time has left. I was lost. I’m still lost. Today I’m still in this nightmare that I wish I never had.”

Luzuriaga described how they had been childhood sweethearts, and how the day they married was the happiest day of their lives, “I know I drove you crazy saying I love you so many times that you would stop replying I love you more. But you made me feel alive. You make me feel alive.”

She said that he would have been “so happy” that so many people came out for him. Luzuriaga also excoriated the Manhattan D.A., saying he’d placed everyone in greater danger. She spoke to her husband.

“Although you won’t be here anymore, I want you to live through me,” she said. “This system continues to fail us. 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. I hope he’s watching you speak through me right now. I’m sure all of our blue family is tired too. But I promise, we promise, that your death won’t be in vain.”

Luzuriaga was referencing D.A. Alvin Bragg’s letter saying he would not prosecute certain crimes and wouldn’t push for jail or bail, in some cases, at a time when violent crime is on the rise with an increase in murders.

“I love you until the end of time. We’ll take the watch from here,” she finished.

She said it all in a way that only those who live it can say. She has lost everything that she had in the service to New Yorkers. We see even after the shooting of her husband that still, even after a 16-year-old was accused of shooting another NYPD officer, he was able to walk out on bond.

Unfortunately, it isn’t only New Yorkers, and it isn’t only this district attorney. It’s a problem in Democratic cities across the country, with district attorneys refusing to prosecute many crimes and pushing “bail reform.” This has been possible with a continuing, progressive effort. It’s going to take a corresponding effort to undo all the harm this has done and the danger that it is posing all over the country.

Here’s the full video of Luzuriaga’s remarks, and the full text is here.




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