Yesterday, New York City’s Saint Patrick Cathedral held the funeral for NYPD Officer Jason Rivera. He and his partner, Wilbert Mora, responded to a domestic dispute call in Harlem between a Mom and her adult son, later identified as 47 year old Lashaun McNeill. Upon their arrival to the scene, McNeill was hiding out in his bedroom. Upon their approach to the bedroom door, McNeill swung open the door, armed with a firearm and bushwhacked these two men, killing them both. Officer Rivera was 22 years old and Officer Mora was 27 years old.
As McNeill was attempting to flee the apartment, an unidentified third NYPD Officer who was also on the scene, shot McNeill in the head and arm. McNeill died of his injuries while in the hospital. Sadly, these two Officers were among four Cops shot in the line of duty just this week alone in New York City.
The eulogy given by Officer Rivera’s widow, Dominique Luzuriaga, was emotional and accusatory.
“Although you won’t be here anymore, I want you to live through me. This system continues to fail us. We are not safe anymore, not even the members of the service. I know you were tired of these laws, especially the ones from the new DA. I hope he’s watching you speak through me right now,”
The newly minted Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, was in attendance, and when asked to comment on the eulogy, DA Bragg muttered a safe political statement used when being called out, “Violence against police officers will never be tolerated.” Sadly, the words spoken by Dominique Luzuriaga ring more true that the words uttered by DA Bragg.
DA Bragg is amongst the ranks of the Rogue Prosecutor Movement. In several cities across the country, such as Baltimore, MD; Philadelphia PA; Cicago, IL; Boston, MA; St. Louis MO; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; and Fairfax, VA; we have seen newly elected District Attorneys who actively sabotage the rules of Law, deliberately or unintentionally raise crime statistics and ignore the victims of criminals. These Rogue Prosecutors usurp the role of state legislatures, thereby violating the separation of powers with their progressive ideas of “fairness” and their callous, ideology-fueled refusal to prosecute broad categories of crime. I am befuddled that in some Cities/States across the country, their practices are endorsed by the Executive Branch. Just as an example of the Executive Branch’s ignorant and dangerous notions regarding the execution of Criminal Law are the various Bail Reform Acts. These policies have been enacted by the States of New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California, (just to name a few), which has effectively eliminated cash bail for nearly all non-violent, non-sex offenses, regardless of flight risk, prior arrest record or danger to the community. The chipping away of the basic tenants of Law Enforcement has led to record high crime rates and to the despair of the communities that need to be protected most.
Like other Rogue Prosecutors, Alvin Bragg is taking notes from his counterparts. Upon taking office in Manhattan, DA Alvin Bragg immediately sent a memo to his staff regarding “fairness and safety”.
“CHARGING 1. The Office will not prosecute the following charges, unless as part of an accusatory instrument containing at least one felony count:
Marijuana misdemeanors, PL §§ 222.30 and 222.50.
The act of refusing to pay the fare for public transportation under Theft of Services, PL §165.15(3)
Trespass, PL §§ 140.05, 140.10, 140.15
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, VTL § 511.1
Resisting Arrest, PL § 205.30
Obstructing Governmental Administration in the Second Degree, PL § 195.05”
To be clear, these policies are extremely detrimental to the assurance of public safety and are not the result of serious legal study or debate within enforcement or legal circles. They are simply regurgitated ideological nonsense taken from other Rouge Prosecutors across the Country such as Kimberly Fox from Chicago, IL and George Gascom from Los Angeles, CA. We see the statistics in the more honest news sites regarding the consistent escalation of criminal activity in every city that embraces these ridiculous reforms.
In my jaded mind, I imagine what would’ve happened if Lashaun McNeill was captured alive after murdering Officers Rivera and Mora. With the policies set by Rogue Prosecutors, such as Alvin Bragg, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if McNeill would’ve been eligible for bail or to be released on his own recognizance. Our communities deserve better.