Community Mourns NYPD Officer Jason Rivera as Mayor Eric Adams Promises Safer Streets

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Media, NYPD, NYPD Memorial, Police, Police Shooting, Queens, NY, Shooting, World News

By Jessica Easthope

As the memorial outside of the 32nd precinct for police officer Jason Rivera grows, so does the community’s fears of more gun violence. Rivera was killed on Friday while responding to a domestic dispute with police officer Wilbert Mora who was shot in the head and is still fighting for his life.

“What is it going to take to get the damn guns off the street?” asked Tamarra Griffin. “Two innocents doing their job, look 22 years old and it’s hurting right here, it’s hurting.”

Griffin says she’s sick over the 22-year-old rookie officer’s death.

“Rest in peace, your family’s with you, you’re their guardian angel, didn’t know you but love you,” she said, holding a candle in the air above the memorial.

Griffin grew up in Harlem and now with a 16 percent rise in shootings, she says the city is falling deeper into a dangerous pattern of crime.

“It’s home and there was never nothing like this for me coming up,” she said. “You weren’t afraid to walk the streets at night. I don’t come out at dark.”

On Friday, Jan. 21, Rivera, Mora and a third officer responded to a domestic dispute between a mother and son – but were ambushed. The alleged shooter Lashawn McNeil opened fire with an illegal gun equipped with a high capacity magazine. He was shot and wounded by the third officer. Rivera was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital. Mora, who was transferred to NYU Langone, has undergone two surgeries for a bullet lodged in his brain.

“It’s very very depressing, you just have to hope and pray for better days,” said Griffin.

While unveiling his plan for tackling violence, Monday, Mayor Eric Adams said he promises the streets will get safer.

“New Yorkers will see and feel these changes quickly,” Mayor Adams said. “We will ramp up enforcement, deploy more officers on the streets and in the subways and get our courts as full capacity.”

Retired NYPD sergeant Soyini Chanshue spent 22 years on the job. She says Adams has his work cut out for him.

“Mayor Adams has a lot of work to do,” she said. “We had eight years of lawlessness, disorder, major setbacks for the city. We can do better, it just really reminds me of the ’80s right now.”

Along with prayers at the memorial, Diocese of Brooklyn’s Bishop Robert Brennan is also sending his prayers, tweeting out: “Our hearts are broken as we pray for the families of 22-year-old NYC Police Officer Jason Rivera, who died in the line of duty last night and of gravely injured 27-year-old Officer Wilbert Mora. The suffering is incomprehensible. Lord, please comfort them and all in the NYPD.”

Police officer Wilbert Mora remains in critical condition at NYU Langone. A wake and funeral are planned for officer Rivera later this week.