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Widow Of Slain Police Officer Earns Standing Ovation As She Torches Soft-On-Crime DA: ‘I Hope He Is Watching You Speak Through Me’
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Cardinal Timothy Dolan (L) hugs family and friends of Officer Jason Rivera at the start of Riveras funeral service inside St. Patricks Cathedral on January 28, 2022 in New York, NY. Rivera and his partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, were fatally wounded when a gunman ambushed them in an apartment as they responded to a family dispute last week. (Photo by Mary Altaffer-Pool/Getty Images)
Mary Altaffer-Pool/Getty Images

Dominique Luzuriaga laid into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg during the funeral for her late husband, rookie New York City Police officer Jason Rivera, earning a standing ovation from the police officers who filled St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Luzuriaga, who struggled to hold back tears throughout her remarks, began with the regret that she and her husband of only a few months had argued before he left for work that day.

“You know it’s hard being a cop’s wife sometimes. It is hard being patient when plans were canceled or we would go days without seeing each other or when you had to write a report that would take forever because you had to voucher so many things,” Luzuriaga said, going on to say that what followed that argument was the phone call she hoped no one else ever had to take.

“My heart dropped,” she said, after learning that two police officers had been shot in Harlem. “I immediately texted you and asked you, ‘Are you okay? Please tell me you’re okay. I know that you are mad right now but just text me you are okay. At least tell me you are busy.’ I get no response. We used to share locations on ‘Find My iPhone’ and when I checked yours I see you are at Harlem Hospital. I thought maybe you were sitting on a perp. But still, nothing. I called and then called again and then called one more time. And this time I felt something wasn’t right.”

Then came the phone call, she said, and she had to go to the hospital. “Dozens of people were surrounding me and yet, I felt alone. I couldn’t believe you left me. Seeing you in that hospital bed wrapped up in sheets & not hearing you when I was talking to you broke me,” she continued. “I was lost. I’m still lost.”

“I’m still in this nightmare … full of rage and anger, hurt and sad, torn … Although I gained thousands of blue brothers & sisters, I’m the loneliest without you. I know you’re looking at me … telling me I can do this, and I’m trying,” Luzuriaga said. “You made me feel alive.”

Then Luzuriaga turned to address the system that she said has failed the people, even calling out Manhattan’s district attorney.

“You have the whole nation on gridlock. And although you won’t be here anymore, I want you to live through me. The system continues to fail us. We are not safe anymore, not even the members of the service [NYPD]. I know you were tired of these laws, especially the ones from the new DA. I hope he is watching you speak through me,” applause interrupted Luzuriaga then, and one by one, members of the audience stood up and continued clapping.

“I’m sure all of our blue family is tired, too. But I promise, we promise, that your death won’t be in vain. I love you to the end of time. We’ll take the watch from here,” Luzuriaga concluded, and as they applauded, everyone stood again.

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