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Slain NYPD officer Rivera lived his dream, but it was too short

Man holding Jason Rivera’s photo in front of NYPD officers lined up to honor Rivera on Fifth Avenue outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. January 28, 2022. Photo by Nikol Mudrová

Fifth Avenue between 44th Street and St. Patrick’s was packed with thousands of navy-blue police uniforms today for the funeral of Officer Jason Rivera. The 22-year-old officer was shot to death while answering a domestic violence call in Harlem last week. His partner, Wilbert Mora, was also killed.

The shooting was the first time two city police officers had been killed in the line of duty since 2014. 

“He lived his dream, although too short a time,” Reverend Robert J. Abbatiello, pastor of Sacred Heart in Yonkers said to the mourners.

Rivera always dreamed of becoming a police officer. As a kid, he was “obsessed” with watching cops’ TV shows, said his older brother, Jeffrey Rivera.

“He would wake up in the middle of the night policing,” Jeffrey Rivera said. 

Many speakers, including Mayor Eric Adams, said that Rivera was a hero. Keechand Sewell, the police commissioner promoted him to detective first-grade, the highest rank for a detective, which is customary when an officer is killed on duty.

“He was everything the city and NYPD needed him to be,” Sewell said.

NYPD officers waiting in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue for a funeral of killed NYPD officer Jason Rivera. January 28, 2022. Photo by Nikol Mudrová

NYPD officers lined up in honor of slain NYPD officer Jason Rivera outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Rivera’s funeral took place. January 28, 2022. Photo by Nikol Mudrová

NYPD officers lined up in honor of slain NYPD officer Jason Rivera outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Rivera’s funeral took place. January 28, 2022. Photo by Nikol Mudrová

NYPD officers lined up in honor of slain NYPD officer Jason Rivera outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Rivera’s funeral took place. January 28, 2022. Photo by Nikol Mudrová

NYPD officers lined up outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the final procession with Officer Rivera’s casket. January 28, 2022. Photo by Nikol Mudrová

NYPD officers saluting their slain colleague Jason Rivera as the final procession with his casket goes through Fifth Avenue. January 28, 2022. Photo by Nikol Mudrová

NYPD officers coming back on Fifth Avenue in direction of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral after a proccession, which ended Jason Rivera’s funeral. January 28, 2022. Photo by Nikol Mudrová