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Slain NYPD officer Jason Rivera mourned in St. Patrick's funeral

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Slain NYPD officer Jason Rivera mourned in St. Patrick's funeral
Dominique Luzuriaga holds a folded U.S. flag after the casket of husband and fallen NYPD officer Jason Rivera is carried outside of St. Patrick's Cathedral after funeral services in New York City on Friday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- New York police Commissioner Keechant Sewell posthumously promoted an officer killed last week in Harlem as his family and colleagues mourned him during a Friday funeral.

Officer Jason Rivera, 22, died Jan. 22 after responding to a domestic disturbance at a Harlem resident. A second officer who was shot, Wilbert Mora, 27, died of his injuries Tuesday.

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Sewell announced Rivera's promotion to detective first grade Friday afternoon in a tweet along with a photo of his new badge.

"Police officer Jason Rivera rose to every challenge that crossed his path. He was everything that the city and NYPD needed him to be. It is with sincere admiration and appreciation that I promote him to detective first grade," she said.

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The New York Police Department on Thursday escorted Rivera's flag-draped coffin to St. Patrick's Cathedral, where his funeral was held Friday.

Rivera's widow, Dominique Luzuriaga, delivered his eulogy. The two were married in October after knowing each other since grade school.

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"Today, I'm still in this nightmare that I wish I never had, full of rage and anger, hurt, sad and torn," she said. "Although I gained thousands of blue brothers and sisters, I'm the loneliest without you."

Luzuriaga used her time at the pulpit to address concerns Rivera had with the city's criminal justice system.

"The system continues to fail us. We are not safe anymore, not even members of service. I know you were tired of these laws, especially from ones from the new DA. I hope he is watching you speak through me right now. I'm sure all of our blue family is tired, too. But I promise your death won't be in vain. We'll take the watch from here," she said.

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a retired NYPD officer, also eulogized Rivera, quoting the Bible.

"It takes courage to put on a uniform and a badge, to answer the call, to serve the cause of justice in every sense of the word," he said. "This is a biblical moment. Scripture states: 'Greater love have no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'

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"Jason was the first person in his family to become a police officer. As I thought about him, I could not help but to reflect on my life: Disappointed in my observation, but watching the desire of the police department to build new bridges; he decided to go inside and help from within.

"He did it for the right reasons: He wanted to make a difference, he wanted to become a police officer."

Other leaders in attendance included New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, Sewell, city Comptroller Brad Lander and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Rivera was expected to be laid to rest at a cemetery in Westchester County.

Mora's viewing and funeral are scheduled to take place at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the NYPD.

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