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 March 30, 2024

Attendees at slain NYPD officer's funeral cheer after New York Governor Kathy Hochul forced to leave

Governor Kathy Hochul found herself in a tense moment as she departed from a short visit to the wake of slain NYPD officer Jonathan Diller, captured in a video on a Friday afternoon.

The scene unfolded outside the Massapequa Funeral Home on Long Island, where an unidentified man, dressed in somber attire, approached the Democratic lawmaker with visible agitation, gesturing firmly as he spoke to her.

The confrontation

The confrontation, documented by bystanders, drew applause from onlookers as Hochul made her exit. Apparently, the Governor of New York was not welcome at the ceremony.

Reports from witnesses described an emotionally charged exchange between Hochul and Diller’s widow, Stephanie, suggesting a possibly confrontational tone from the grieving widow towards the governor.

Though Hochul’s visit lasted only about 10 to 15 minutes, she reportedly engaged in a "short, respectful conversation" with the bereaved family members, according to another source.

Despite initial speculation that Hochul was asked to leave, further accounts painted a picture of a brief but cordial interaction between the governor and the family, with Hochul also discussing policy matters, including the contentious issue of bail reform, which has faced scrutiny following Diller’s tragic death.

Trump's actions

Former President Donald Trump’s presence at the wake added another aspect to the mourning of the slain officer. Spending approximately 40 minutes, Trump conversed with Stephanie and met Diller’s young son, Ryan, offering condolences and reflections on Diller’s service as a law enforcement officer.

The backdrop to these interactions was fraught with tension and controversy. Hochul, in her role as governor, has faced mounting criticism over bail reform policies, which some in law enforcement link to an increase in recidivism and public safety concerns.

The prime suspect in Diller’s murder, 34-year-old Guy Rivera, had a substantial criminal record, raising questions about the existing criminal justice measures.

Mayor Adams responds

Mayor Eric Adams echoed these concerns at a press conference, lamenting the lack of comprehensive action on issues of recidivism and criminal justice reform. Adams, himself a former NYPD captain, emphasized the need for meaningful policy changes to address systemic flaws.

In the days leading up to Diller’s funeral, tensions escalated further, with the Sergeants Benevolent Association President Vincent J. Vallelong cautioning City Council members against attending, underscoring the divisive nature of the event.

The convergence of political figures, grieving families, and law enforcement advocates underscored the complexities of navigating public discourse surrounding criminal justice reform and law enforcement practices.

Against a backdrop of mourning and reflection, the incident at the wake served as a poignant reminder of the deep-seated societal divisions and policy debates surrounding public safety and justice in America.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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