Slain NYPD officer Jason Rivera drew tributes and vows from the entire city as St. Patrick’s Cathedral held his funeral. The 22-year-old was gunned down with his partner last week.
Mayor Eric Adams, who was present at the funeral, said he saw an echo of himself in the slain officer who joined a department he hoped he could make better.
“He did it for the right reasons — he wanted to make a difference,” said Adams, who was a NYPD captain himself.
“There were days when I felt the public did not understand and appreciate the job we were doing, and I want to tell you officers: They do. They do,” Adams said.
Rivera’s brother recalled his youth, when the rookie was obsessed with joining the police force, even if he would later come to know its flaws.
Rivera, 22, and Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, were fatally wounded Jan. 21 by a gunman who opened fire on them in a hallway as they responded to a family dispute.
Through tears, Rivera’s wife, Dominique Luzuriaga, recalled the horror of seeing cellphone alerts about two officers being shot in Harlem. Her worries grew as she texted and called the former elementary school classmate she married this past October. She got no answer until the call that summoned her to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Authorities are still investigating what motivated the gunman, who was shot by a third officer and later died.