Mourners Gather at Funeral for NYPD Officer Killed in Line of Duty

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Five days after New York City Police Officer Jonathan Diller was fatally shot in the line of duty, friends, family and colleagues gathered to remember him at a funeral on Saturday morning at a Catholic church on Long Island.

The funeral at St. Rose of Lima Church in Massapequa, like the two-day wake that preceded it, drew large crowds of law enforcement officers mourning a life cut short in a killing that has quickly become a political flashpoint.

As mourners waited for the hearse to arrive, the area in front of the church on Merrick Road was flooded with thousands of uniforms — New York City police officers, as well as officers from other departments around the region. An honor guard stood by as a lone bagpiper played at the church entrance and police helicopters buzzed overhead.

Hundreds of civilians lined the hearse’s route, including schoolchildren holding signs in support of the police.

Officer Diller, 31, graduated from the State University of New York Maritime College with a degree in marine transportation in 2014. He joined the Police Department in February 2021, and had been recognized three times for “excellent police duty” since then.

He typically worked tougher parts of the southeast section of Queens near Kennedy International Airport. He and a partner were on patrol in such an area on Monday when they pulled up to a car with two people inside that was parked illegally at a bus stop on Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, the police said.

Officer Diller told the man in the passenger seat, Guy Rivera, 34, to get out of the car, the police said. Mr. Rivera refused, pulled out a gun and shot Officer Diller in a part of his body below his protective vest, the police said. Despite having been shot, he managed to disarm Mr. Rivera, the police said. Officer Diller was pronounced dead after being taken to Jamaica Hospital.

His partner, Officer Veckash Khedna, returned fire, striking Mr. Rivera, who survived and was charged on Thursday with first-degree murder. (The man in the car’s driver seat at the time, Lindy Jones, 41, was charged with a number of gun crimes related to the shooting.)

Mr. Rivera had been arrested nearly two dozen times before, mostly on drug-related and assault charges, officials said.

Messages left for Mr. Rivera’s Legal Aid lawyers on Friday evening were not immediately returned.

Some people — particularly Republicans — have seized on the killing as emblematic of what they consider the lax laws and public safety policies promoted by New York Democrats.

The unions representing the city’s police officers have warned City Council members whom they view as unsupportive of law enforcement not to attend Officer Diller’s wake or funeral.

Former President Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee in this year’s presidential race, is among those who have denounced progressive policies as fomenting crime in New York and elsewhere, even as data show crime declining across the United States.

Mr. Trump attended Officer Diller’s wake on Thursday and told reporters that the country needed to “get back to law and order” and crack down on violent crime. He called Mayor Eric Adams to offer condolences on the officer’s death and was greeted at the wake by Edward Caban, the city’s police commissioner.

Mr. Adams was also at the wake on Thursday. Gov. Kathy Hochul attended on Friday.