New York paid tribute this Friday to one of the two young police officers killed a week ago in a shooting in harlem, a symbol of the increase in violence in the megalopolis that its new mayor, Eric Adams, wants to stop with a more repressive policy.
Thousands of people, most of them uniformed policemen from all over the country, crowded in front of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral and along nearly two kilometers in the Manhattan 5th Avenue, under persistent sleet, a prelude to the strong storm announced for this weekend.
Before officials, relatives and police officers who attended the mass in English and Spanish for Jason Rivera, 22, Mayor Adams praised the memory of a “hero”.
“Your brother was a hero”said this former captain of the New York police in an environment overcome by emotion.
At the end of mass, Silence filled the usually noisy 5th Avenue as the van passed with the coffin of the young police officer of Latino origin –like more than 30% of 35,000 uniformed officers in New York–, which was taking him to the cemetery to be buried.
It is a “very sad day, sad for him, for his family,” he told the AFP a black policeman who did not want to give his name and who assured that “unfortunately it will not be the last”.
“The mood on the floor”
“It hurts me, he was my friend, we graduated at the same time, I don’t want to talk about it”, confessed in Spanish a police officer of Mexican origin who did not want to reveal her name either, like all those interviewed.
Rivera was assassinated on January 21st by a 47-year-old man when he went to a house in Harlem following a call by a violent family dispute.
The shooter died Monday from his injuries, and a second police officer, 27-year-old Wilbert Mora, also succumbed to his on Tuesday.
The violent death of these two young police officers puts pressure on the new mayor Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain and he just adds discontent Y frustration among the police.
“It is the most difficult moment in my more than 20 years of career”, confessed to the AFP a sergeant who asked that his name not be used. “The spirits are on the floor and many people are thinking of retiring or even leaving the police”, he said, frustrated by the “new restrictive laws and internal rules.”
Five police officers shot
five policemenincluding the two who intervened in Harlem- They were shot in the American financial capital of almost nine million inhabitants since January 1, Adams, of the right wing of the Democratic Party, recalled last week, who took office promising to fight insecurity.
The second African-American mayor in New York history announced Monday the reinstatement of plainclothes police patrols, “anti-crime units” renamed as “anti-weapon units”, which were dismantled in 2020 after the death of the African American george floyd, killed by a policeman in Minneapolis.
Under the management of Michael Bloomberg (2002-2013), These police officers were denounced for their controversial operations against black and Hispanic youth suspected of carrying weapons.
In addition to the violence against the police, the Big Apple has once again revived a wave of violence that was believed to be a thing of the past.
On January 14, also in Harlem, A 19-year-old Puerto Rican woman was shot to death by a robber at the fast food restaurant where she worked.
The next day, a 40-year-old Asian-American woman was pushed onto the subway tracks by a schizophrenic homeless man when a train was speeding into the Times Square station.
On Tuesday at noon a 35-year-old man was shot inside the emergency room of a Bronx hospital.
Gun violence in New York increased 4.3% in 2021 compared to 2020, the year in which it had already grown in relation to the previous one.
President Joe Biden will travel to New York on February 3rd to talk about his “fight against violence” strategy, in a country where there are more than 400 million firearms in private hands, which are one of the main causes of death.
(With information from AFP)
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