Text by Eleonora Francica and video by Mike Flores
Queens community gathered on Wednesday with N.Y.P.D. officials to commemorate the two detectives that lost their lives on duty.
In Queens, the Borough President held a vigil for New York Police Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora to honor their memories.
The two Officers of Precinct 32 died on duty after responding to a domestic emergency call in East Harlem on Friday night, January 21. Lashawn J. McNeil first fired a handgun at Jason Rivera, 22, killing him. Then, he shot Wilbert Mora, 27, who was taken to Harlem Hospital. After being transferred to NYU Langone Medical Center, Mora died on the 25th of January from his fatal injuries.
On Wednesday, the borough of Queens wanted to honor the memory of the two Police Officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. “People in Queens were hurt, and we wanted to give them the space to be able to mourn and to come together,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.
The vigil started at 5:30 p.m. and gathered as many as a hundred people, many of them members of the NYPD and Queens residents. Lonnie Glover, an auxiliary lieutenant for the 105th Precinct, attended the funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan yesterday morning. When he heard that a vigil was going to be held in Queens to honor the two detectives, he wanted to rush to be part of this remembrance. “I got the invitation and I wanted to make sure, even though I did attend the funeral this morning, I just got back about two hours ago, I wanted to make it known that I was here.”
Huddled together in prayer, attendees held lit candles to remember two young men. “Just be here and be part of this is very important,” said the District Leader 34, Part B, Monica Valdes, 47, who lived in Queens for twenty years and saw how gun violence and crime shifted over time. “If there were no presence, change is never going to start.”
In the wake of these events and other recent crimes, New York’s Mayor Eric Adams released the “Blueprint to End Gun Violence,” which calls for increased efforts and support from various departments and agencies to end gun violence. Among them, he includes the New York Police Department, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, and the New York City Health Department. “When you look at gun violence you have to address it holistically,” said Queens Borough President, “and that’s what we’ll be looking for.”
Today, U.S. President Joe Biden met with Mayor Eric Adams in New York to talk about gun violence and what strategy to take to prevent more lives from being lost in the future.
“There is a second pandemic we are dealing with, and it’s gun violence,” the Queens Borough President remarked.