a
Welcome to EWTN GB - Global Catholic Television Network - Copyright ©
HomeArticleThousands mourn slain NYPD officer at Catholic funeral

Thousands mourn slain NYPD officer at Catholic funeral

Thousands mourn slain NYPD officer at Catholic funeral

NYPD officers stand in line at the funeral of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on March 30, 2024, in Massapequa, New York. Officer Diller was killed on March 25 when he was shot in Queens after approaching an illegally parked vehicle. / Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

 

By Tina Dennelly

Long Island, New York, Apr 1, 2024 / 17:00 pm (CNA).

Thousands of mourners lined the streets of the New York suburb of Massapequa on Long Island on Holy Saturday for the Catholic funeral of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller, who was killed while on duty during a traffic stop last Monday.

The 31-year-old officer left behind his wife, Stephanie, and 1-year-old son, Ryan.

“The city is mourning a cop. The tens of thousands of police officers outside are mourning a brother in arms. But Stephanie and Ryan are mourning their everything,” said Father Michael Duffy, who presided over the marriage of the Dillers in 2019, in his homily for the funeral service, held at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.

 

A man holds a cross outside the funeral of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Holy Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Massapequa, New York. Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A man holds a cross outside the funeral of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Holy Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Massapequa, New York. Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

 

Coverage of the officer’s death dominated local news throughout Holy Week. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul ordered flags throughout the state to be flown at half-staff in the officer’s honor. Parishes throughout Long Island remembered Diller in their Prayers of the Faithful at Masses.

Diller, a three-year veteran police officer, was killed as he and his partner investigated an illegally parked car. After refusing to exit the car at Diller’s request, a passenger in the car, 34-year-old Guy Rivera of Queens, allegedly opened fire, striking Diller in the stomach just below his bullet-proof vest. He died later at a local hospital. Diller’s partner returned fire and wounded the suspect, who was treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder, CBS News reported. According to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Rivera had more than 20 prior arrests.

“Everything about this Church, about our faith, about our prayers today is a reminder that we believe that death is not an end,” Duffy continued in his homily. “The fact that we find ourselves gathered here today on Holy Saturday having just gone through Good Friday awaiting Easter Sunday is a reminder of why we can be here together today at all.”

 

A message of mourning for the funeral of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller is seen at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on March 30, 2024, in Massapequa, New York. Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A message of mourning for the funeral of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller is seen at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on March 30, 2024, in Massapequa, New York. Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

 

In his Easter Sunday homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, Cardinal Timothy Dolan observed that “last week here in New York City [we] seemed to have two Good Fridays.”

“Of course, the one two days ago as we somberly bowed our heads recalling the death of Jesus on the cross on that hill called Calvary, on that Friday strangely called good,” the cardinal said, “but also last Monday in the murder of New York police officer, now detective, Jonathan Diller in the line of duty, we had a second Good Friday.”

“He wasn’t the type to sugarcoat anything, so I won’t sugarcoat this,” Stephanie Diller, choking back tears, said of her husband during the eulogy she delivered at his funeral. “This is devastating. It’s a devastating and tragic loss.”

 

NYPD pallbearers carry the casket of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller as Rockville Centre Bishop John Barres blesses the casket at Diller’s funeral at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on March 30, 2024 in Massapequa, New York. Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

NYPD pallbearers carry the casket of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller as Rockville Centre Bishop John Barres blesses the casket at Diller’s funeral at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on March 30, 2024 in Massapequa, New York. Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

 

Several politicians also attended the funeral, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who also spoke. New York City Police Commissioner Edward Caban promoted Diller to detective posthumously during the service.

Former President Donald Trump was invited by the family to attend the officer’s wake on Holy Thursday, NBC News reported. Hochul also attended the wake but was allegedly heckled outside the funeral home. The governor later said that no one told her to leave.

Trump was reported to have prayed an Our Father with the family at the wake.

Diller’s widow introduced the former president to Father Duffy there. “I was able to just say, Mr. President, thank you for being here,” Duffy told Fox News. “Would you be willing to pray with us? And he said, ‘Of course.’”

 

 

Criminal justice reform in the state has been placed back into the spotlight following Diller’s death, with many blaming the state’s bail reform law for allowing criminals to run free.

In 2019, the state adopted a law ending cash bail in most cases involving misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. The law sought to reduce the risk of someone being jailed because he or she could not afford to pay for release.

 

 

Share With:
Tags