Widow of slain NYPD officer slams DA for being soft on crime

"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," she said.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Thursday, officers from the New York City Police Department came out in droves to attend the funeral of 22-year-old Jason Rivera, the young NYPD cop who was killed in a fatal shooting in Harlem on Jan. 21.

His wife, Dominique Luzuriaga, spoke at the funeral, which took place at St. Patricks Cathedral with a sea of uniformed officers congregating in the nearby streets.

During her heartbreaking speech, Luzuriaga blasted Manhattan's new District Attorney Alvin Bragg for policies that have made the city unsafe.

"The system continues to fail us. We are not safe anymore. Not even the members of the service," she said.

"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," she continued, being met with a long round of applause. "I'm sure all of our blue family is tired too. 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," she concluded.

Bragg issued a memo earlier this month for staff outlining his Day One policies and new guidelines for prosecuting crimes, which includes downgrading felony charges and shortening prison sentences.

"I have dedicated my career to the inextricably linked goals of safety and fairness," Bragg said in his missive. "This memo sets out charging, bail, plea, and sentencing policies that will advance both goals. Data, and my personal experiences, show that reserving incarceration for matters involving significant harm will make us safer."

Bragg said in his memo that his office "will not seek a carceral sentence" in many cases, with exceptions made for cases including homicides, domestic violence felonies, public corruption, and some sex crimes.

Rivera and his partner Wilbert Mora were both fatally shot while responding to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex in Harlem.

Rivera was pronounced dead at the scene, with Mora being taken off life support earlier this week.

Lashawn McNeil was identified as the man who ambushed the two officers. He was shot by a third officer in the head and arm as he attempted to flee the scene, and later succumbed to his wounds.

McNeil was revealed to have been out on probation at the time of the shooting for a 2003 felony narcotics conviction in New York City, and had several arrests outside of the city, including one in South Carolina for the unlawful possession of a weapon in 1998.

Police recovered an illegal firearm, a Glock 45 with a high-capacity magazine that holds 40 rounds, at the scene. The weapon was identified as having been stolen from Baltimore in 2017. Police are currently working with the ATF to determine if the gun was used in other crimes.

At the funeral, the city's Mayor Eric Adams, who previously blamed "gun violence" for the death of the two officers, offered his condolences to the family of Rivera, speaking highly of the fallen officer.

"And to his parents, Anna, Daniel, all they ask is just for justice for their son, justice for the children of the city. Parents wanted what every parent desires. I say to we're sorry. We're sorry," said Adams.


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