‘We Are Not Safe’ – Opinion

NYPD Detective Jason Rivera’s funeral was held on Friday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Rivera and Officer Wilbert Mora, his partner were both shot dead while responding to a call about domestic violence on January 21.

Rivera saw a sea of blue even when it snowed.

Rivera, who died in April of this year, was made a detective. His widow paid tribute to him with a touching tribute that included a scathing attack on the Manhattan D.A. His lax approach in prosecuting criminals, which left people vulnerable.

They were both just 22 years of age. 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. She finally found out the truth.

“Walking all those steps seeing everybody staring at me was the scariest moment I’ve experienced. No one was trying to tell me what I needed. I was surrounded by dozens of people, yet I still felt isolated. I couldn’t believe you left me. You were in my hospital bed, covered in sheets. I couldn’t believe you left me.

“I asked why. I said to you, wake up baby, I’m here. All the hope that I held in you to come back to my life to let me say goodbye to you or to show you how much I loved you has now vanished. I felt 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. Your love 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. The service members and we are no longer safe. You were probably tired of all these laws, particularly the one 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 making reference to 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.

In a voice that only people can hear, she spoke it all. It is clear that her service has cost her everything. Even after her husband was shot, we see that he still managed to leave on bail, even though he had been accused of shooting another NYPD officer.

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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