Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Soft o crime cost lives

Officer Jonathan Diller leaves behind a wife and a 1-year-old son.

NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller was gunned down Monday evening while conducting a routine traffic stop in Queens.

The suspected shooter and his wing man are both career criminals. One of the thugs reportedly has at least 21 previous arrests and walked free in 2021. The other was last arrested in April 2023 on gun charges but cut loose.

"April of 2023," Mayor Eric Adams reiterated during a press conference Monday night. "Less than a year, gun charge, he's back on the street. This is what you call — not a crime problem — a recidivist problem. Same bad people doing bad things to good people. Less than a year he's back on the streets with another gun."

Officer Diller, 31, and his partner pulled over Lindy Jones, 41, and Guy Rivera, 34, near 19-19 Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, Queens, around 5:50 p.m. on Monday.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said the officers asked Rivera to exit the gray Kia SUV, which was stationary in front of a bus stop.

"He was given a lawful order numerous times to step out of the car and he refused," said Kenny.

Police indicated that when Diller approached the vehicle, Rivera, seated in the passenger seat, brandished a firearm, then took aim. The suspect opened fire, striking Diller in the gut beneath his bullet-resistant vest.

Despite catching lead, Kenny indicated Diller "stayed in the fight and was trying to unarm the person that had just shot him."

"The gun hit the ground and as the perpetrator was still reaching for it, this cop was able to grab it, although he was still shot," added Kenny.

Diller's partner reportedly returned fire during the exchange, successfully hitting Rivera in the back.

Melissa Morgan, a witness who saw the shooting unfold less than two blocks away from the NYPD's 101st Precinct station house told the New York Daily News, "It happened so fast."

"The police officer fell on the floor and the other officers dragged the two guys out of the car. I was running for cover," continued Morgan. "It's unbelievable."

"We need a bus here ASAP!" an officer reportedly roared into his radio. "We have an officer shot!"

The NYPD shut down the Van Wyck Expressway to rush Diller to the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he later succumbed to his wound.

Diller was on the force for three years. The New York Times reported that Diller was thrice recognized for "excellent police duty."

Police Commissioner Edward Caban stated, "Tonight this city lost a hero, a wife lost her husband, and a young child lost their father."

"We struggle to find the words to express the tragedy of losing one of our own," continued Caban. "The work that Police Officer Jonathan Diller did each day to make this city a safer place will NEVER be forgotten."

Rivera, on the other hand, is expected to survive.

Rivera, who has 21 arrests under his belt, was released from a New York Prison in 2021 after serving a five-year stint for criminal possession of a controlled substance, reportedthe New York Post. Rivera's parole ended in 2023. He previously did time from 2011 until 2014 for a first-degree assault charge.

Jones was arrested last April but swiftly set loose again on New York City. Jones reportedly has 14 prior arrests and was convicted of attempted murder and robbery in 2003.

A weapon was recovered from the scene and nearby streets were cordoned off as police conducted their investigation.

Adams called the shooting a "senseless act of violence," stressing that the shooter had a "total disregard for the safety of this city."

Adams stressed the incident made the moral binary abundantly clear: "It is the good guys against the bad guys. And these bad guys are violent, they carry guns, and the symbol of our public safety, which is that police uniform, they have a total disregard for."

"These attacks on New York City police officers have to end right now," said Patrick Hendry, the president of the city's Police Benevolent Association. "We have a family upstairs right now that’s devastated. We have police officers in this hallway who have lost a brother. It has to end now."

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