Thousands Of NYPD Officers Flood Fifth Avenue To Honor Fallen Colleague Jason Rivera

(Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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New York Police Department officers flooded Fifth Avenue in New York City on Friday to honor fallen officer Jason Rivera.

As Rivera’s funeral proceeded, thousands of officers huddled on Fifth Avenue as snow began to fall. Hymns were played through speakers in the area and around St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As the funeral concluded, an organist played God Bless America. Rivera, 22, was shot to death along with his partner Wilbert Mora, 27, in an apartment ambush in Harlem on Jan. 21. Rivera had been a police officer for only 14 months when he was murdered, according to Newsday. (RELATED: Second NYPD Officer Dies From Injuries Sustained During Harlem Ambush)

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams attended the funeral, along with countless NYPD officers.

Reverend Robert J. Abbatiello led the Spanish and English-language funeral. He described Rivera as a man who “lived his dream, although too short a time,” according to the New York Times. Abbatiello spoke to Rivera’s widow, saying, “Your marriage to Jason, like his life, was far too short. We know he loved you, his childhood sweetheart, you made him happy, you made him smile.”

Around 10 a.m., Adams gave his eulogy and called Rivera a hero. Adams is a former police captain and has pledged to reduce crime in New York City. He recently appointed Keechant Sewell police commissioner, who promoted the late Rivera to detective first-grade, according to The New York Times.

Rivera’s wife, Dominique Luzuriaga, called out Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg during her powerful eulogy.

“The system continues to fail us. We are not safe anymore, not even the members of the service. I know you are tired of these new laws, especially the ones from the new DA. I hope he’s watching you speak through me right now,” she said.

Luzuriaga’s remarks prompted a loud round of applause and a standing ovation.