Thousands of police officers joined top New York officials at the historic Manhattan church to pay their respects to the 22-year-old fallen officer.
Thousands of mourners paid their respects during a public wake on Thursday when Rivera’s casket, wrapped in an NYPD flag, was escorted into the cathedral.
Rivera’s widow Dominique Rivera penned a moving message after his wake, writing on Instagram: “This is probably the heaviest my heart has ever felt.
“Mi media naranja (my half-orange), like my mother in law used to call him, left me feeling so empty. I love you so much mi pollito in heaven. See you later.”
Rivera, who married his wife in October, was killed when deranged career criminal Lashawn McNeil ambushed him and his partner, officer Wilbert Mora during a domestic violence call in Harlem on Friday, according to NYPOST
Mora, who died Tuesday from injuries, is due to be mourned next at a funeral at St. Patrick’s next week.
The suspect was shot by a third officer, rookie Sumit Sulan, during the attack on Rivera and Mora and died from his wounds earlier this week.
Mayor Eric Adams, Gov. Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell were all in attendance for the 9 a.m. service. Three former police commissioners — Dermot Shea, Ray Kelly and William Bratton – joined the dignitaries inside.
Also among the mourners was the widow and parents of Wenjian Liu – the NYPD cop executed alongside his partner in Brooklyn in 2014. Liu’s family were hugged by several officers before making their way into the church.
Rivera’s service was only open to invited guests, but New Yorkers still gathered as snow fell outside the church to honor the slain officer.
“I just have to be here for him and his family,” Isaac Krinsky, 61, of the Lower East Side, told The Post. “He gave his life not just for me but for all New Yorkers. They put their lives on the line for all residents of the city and pay the ultimate price.”
Miguel Melendez, 60, and his son Mason, 10, traveled from their home Baldwin Harbor in Nassau County to claim a spot outside the cathedral.
“It’s a tragedy what happened,” Melendez said. “If it didn’t touch your heart, you’re not human.
“I woke my son up at 5:30 a.m., pulled him out of school and said ‘you’re coming with me to see how someone paid the ultimate sacrifice for trying to unite our community’. This hatred towards cops has to end. It is unspeakable what has happened.”
Jim O’Neill, an NYPD detective, said: “I think he’s definitely a New York hero. He gave it his all. I admire the man that he was and I’m feeling great sorry for his family.