HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) — Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora — the two NYPD officers shot in an ambush Friday night — were honored Saturday in both Harlem and Nassau County. The support came as Mora is “fighting for his life” after being shot in the head.
Rivera was killed in the shooting, and the city medical examiner officially ruled his cause of death to be a homicide Saturday. Community leaders, faith leaders and dozens of others gathered at the NYPD’s 32nd Precinct in Harlem for a prayer vigil honoring the two men. Purple bunting now hangs there above the building’s doors in tribute.
“We’re here because our hearts our sad. We are bothered by what is happening in our city,” Bishop Gerald Seabrooks said.
Seabrooks — along with Community Advocate Tony Herbert and bishops Eric Figueroa and Ismael Claudio — joined with the community to honor Rivera and pray for Mora’s safe recovery. New York City Mayor Eric Adams was also in attendance, and he had one strong statement to share: “I have the backs of my police officers.”
Adams visited the third officer who responded to the Harlem domestic call Saturday afternoon, also speaking with his parents. He said the third officer’s mother hugged him there, telling him that she’s restless every time that her son reports for duty.
“Violence won’t divide us,” Adams said to cheers, “it will unite us. We are going to unite against this issue.”
He’s calling on help from the federal government to stop the flow of illegal guns into New York. Attorney General Letitia James, who was also in attendance at the vigil, said she’s on board and working to establish a multi-state task force to end gun violence.
But, officials said the police can only do so much. Ultimately, they said, it’s up to the neighborhoods to speak up as well.
“When we know that our children have guns, it’s our obligation to let the police know,” Chaplain Ingrid Lewis-Martin said. “When we know that our neighbors have guns, it’s our obligation to let the police know.”
One Long Island community also extended support for Rivera, Mora and the NYPD Saturday night. Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman joined Nassau County Police Department members to light the dome of Mineola’s executive building blue, “in honor of the NYPD officers who were killed and injured last night in Harlem.”
“Last night’s intentional murder and critical wounding of two of New York’s Finest is another sad day for our nation. Too many officers have been injured and killed due to individuals who have no respect for law and order,” Blakeman and Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said in a joint statement. “It is time and long overdue for the nation to stand by all police officers and recognize them for the dangerous and difficult jobs they do everyday. Our prayers and support go out to both officers, their families and the members of the NYPD.”