NEW YORK (PIX11) — It started with a sleeping NYPD officer shot just hours into the new year and continued with another six officers shot in the first weeks of 2022.
Most recently, an off-duty officer was shot in the foot as he attended a Saturday vigil in Harlem. He was the second off-duty officer shot in the course of the week.
NYPD Clergy Liaison Robert Rice met visited the officer in the hospital. He also went out to speak with Manhattanville House residents on Sunday.
“Senior citizens that told me in this development they are afraid to walk the street, to walk to the supermarket- afraid they will get shot by a stray bullet,” he said.
The officer shot in Harlem wasn’t the only victim of gun violence. An off-duty NYPD officer was shot in Queens in an apparent attempted carjacking on Tuesday night as he headed to work, authorities said. Two suspects were taken into custody shortly after the gunfire.
Two of the seven officers shot this year — Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora — died of their injuries. They were shot on Jan. 21 when they responded to a domestic incident in Harlem.
“This was an attack on the city of New York,” Mayor Eric Adams said after they were shot.
President Joe Biden came to New York in the wake of Rivera and Mora’s funerals and pledged that the federal government would escalate its fight against gun violence.
“The answer is not to defund the police,” Biden said. “It is to give you the tools, the training, the funding to be partners, to be protectors and know the community.”
Law enforcement around New York said they’ve had enough; they want change. Former NYPD chief and current Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison was emotional Sunday.
“I have two daughters that joined that ranks at NYPD I’m going to be honest with you: I’m scared,” Harrison said. “Every time they walk out the door, I make sure I give them a hug and a kiss because I’m concerned about them coming home.”