The casket arrives at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the wake of New York Police officer Jason Rivera, who was killed while responding to a domestic violence call in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, in New York, U.S., January 27, 2022.
Seven NYPD officers silently brought the body of their slain colleague, Police Officer Jason Rivera, up the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Thursday for his wake, the latest moment in a grief-stricken week throughout the city.
Scores of the city’s Finest lined the streets outside the Midtown cathedral on Thursday as Rivera’s body, carried in a casket draped with the NYPD flag, was brought inside. The wake, scheduled from 1pm to 8pm, saw thousands turnout to pay their respects, many of them were fellow members of law enforcement who filed into the iconic Cathedral in a sea of navy blue.
Inside, large wreaths proceeded over the fallen officer’s open casket. Rivera was presented in uniform, an outfit he was proud to wear in life. Officers and family members hung their heads in sorrow while standing over a man many have called a hero.
Just 22, Rivera along with his partner from the 32nd Precinct, Police Officer Wilbert Mora, were fatally shot while responding to a domestic dispute at a Harlem apartment on the night of Jan. 21. Rivera died a short time later, while Mora succumbed to his injuries Tuesday.
Outside St. Patrick’s amid frigid temperatures, New Yorkers gathered to pay homage to Rivera. Some decried gun violence, others admonished lawmakers, but all were united in their desire to pay respects to the deceased officer.
Maria Juitarrex arrived Thursday holding a sign begging for an end to gun violence. She told amNewYork Metro that she is thinking of Rivera’s mother during this difficult time.
“I came here today to see the officer. There is too much happening in New York every day… every day. It is time for the violence to stop,” Juitarrex said, looking up at the Cathedral. “I am feeling so bad right now, I am sorry this happened.”
Others were going about their day when they were stopped in their tracks by the large police presence. Alicia Rudd was taken aback by the show of support from both the NYPD and private citizens.
“Support not only from your own family but also from the community always helps. Good friends and community always helps the family who lost someone,” Rudd said.
Mayor Eric Adams also paid his respects by visiting the wake. The funeral is scheduled for Friday morning, Jan. 28, at 9 am.
Services for fellow Officer Mora are scheduled to for next week with the wake on Feb. 1 and the funeral on Feb. 2.