A police caravan comprised of over 40 law enforcement agencies in the Hudson Valley area drove to the NYPD’s 32nd Precinct to honor fallen New York officer Jason Rivera who was killed in Manhattan on the night of January 21.
Sunday, just days after his killing, a caravan of police vehicles made the journey from the Westchester County Police Academy in Valhalla to the Harlem precinct where Rivera worked.
“We mourn the loss of life that has occurred and stand united with the men and women of the NYPD,” the Westchester County police said in a statement. “Our officers brought wreaths, food, cards and a contribution to the fund that will assist the families impacted by this enormous tragedy. Our collective message to the NYPD was: We Stand With You. Different patches, same police family.”
The caravan was organized by the Westchester County police and Port Chester police; departments from Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess and Fairfield counties also joined.
A fund set up for Rivera’s family by the NYPD has received donations from both law enforcement agencies and police unions.
Rivera, 22, was responding to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment on 135th street in Manhattan along with fellow officer Wilbert Mora before the shooting. Police say the caller was fighting with one of her sons and needed help.
After officers entered the apartment, the son opened his bedroom door and began firing at them, killing Rivera and critically wounding Mora. Rivera received lethal injuries to the torso and head.
The suspect, identified as 47-year-old LaShawn McNeil, was also shot in the encounter. His condition remains unknown.
“It’s important to show NYPD that they’re family, The north of New York City community cares about what happened, and we’re headed down to 3-2 to lend our support,” Westchester County Sergeant James Dress told News 12.
The department and city will miss Rivera, who grew up from an immigrant family and pledged to make a difference in the “chaotic city” in an essay he wrote that was obtained by AP News.
In his essay, titled “Why I Became a Police Officer,” Rivera explained that he decided to become a police officer in 2020 to change the way policing was done.
“I remember one day when I witnessed my brother being stopped and frisked. I asked myself, why are we being pulled over if we are in a taxi?” he wrote. “My perspective on police and the way they police really bothered me.”
City leaders, including Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, each made statements expressing their condolences.
“It is our city against the killers!” Adams, a former police officer said at a press conference. “This was just not an attack on three brave officers. This was an attack on the city of New York.”
“In a moment, a young, 22-year-old life was ended. Our department is hurting. Our city is hurting,” Sewell said.
Rivera’s death comes after a violent week for the city. Four other NYPD officers were shot in the same week, though none of those officers were killed.