New York: Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Politics: Gov. Hochul's Next Test Will Be Her Response To

POLITICS: Gov. Hochul’s next test will be her response to the tragic murder of NYPD cop Jonathan Diller

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Politics is about contrasts, and it would be hard to find more obvious ones than those that have emerged since the murder of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller. 

On one hand, former President Donald Trump was invited by Diller’s family to the wake and received a warm welcome from police officers and other mourners.

The Republican prayed at the casket with family members and spoke somberly afterwards about the need “to get back to law and order.” 

“We have to do a lot of things differently, because this is not working,” Trump said evenly to reporters outside. 

On the other hand, Gov. Hochul, a Democrat, was accused by an angry family member of having “blood on your hands” because of lenient state policies. 

The family also rejected requests by Hochul and Dem Attorney General Letitia James to speak at Saturday’s funeral, Fox News reports. 

Earlier, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, both Dems, were told by a police union leader that they were not welcome to attend the services. 

The contrasts suggest the long-running, bitter divorce between Democrats and the NYPD is nearly final.

It is an extraordinary development given that public safety is essential in any society, a point made painfully eloquent by Diller’s widow, Stephanie. 

Recalling the demand for a change in state policies made by another widow at a police officer’s funeral more than two years ago, she said Saturday that “the change never came. And now my son has to grow up without his father.” 

Dem crime abdication 

It remains a staggering fact that in New York today and throughout much of America, support for law and order has become the nearly exclusive province of one party, the GOP. 

In city after city, especially in blue states, far-left lawmakers and mayors show more concern for the well-being of the accused than for the rights and suffering of victims.

An army of prosecutors who act like defense attorneys, including Manhattan’s Alvin Bragg, have an unwarranted sympathy for people who are clear menaces to society. 

President Biden has played a bizarre role in this destructive tilt. As a senator, he was a hawk on law enforcement and advocated long prison sentences. 

But as president, he has bowed to his party’s far left by opening the southern border to millions of unvetted crossers, which is by definition an assault on Americans’ security. 

In addition, Biden periodically expresses the false idea that our society, and especially police officers, are corrupted by racial animus. 

It’s a slur that marks him as being on the wrong side of history, and he proved it Thursday when he came to New York to raise a staggering $25 million for his campaign with former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. 

On the same day that Trump attended the wake, the president made no public mention of Officer Diller’s sacrifice, although Biden reportedly called Mayor Adams about it privately. 

That leaves Adams as the lone cross-over in the parties’ chasm and that’s because he is the rarest of birds — a Dem as well as a former police officer and captain.

His remarks at the funeral included heartfelt references to Diller’s sacrifice as well as the Easter message of resurrection. 

Anti-police rancor 

By its nature, police work can lead to an us-against-them mentality. But what is striking about the partisan divide on crime is how the radical left has polluted an issue that all New Yorkers have in common. 

When people talk about the bad old days, they are talking about rampant crime and its devastating effects on everyday life, no matter the political affiliation or neighborhood.

Frightened families and businesses flee, schools aren’t safe, property values decline and large parts of the city become disaster zones. 

That was the reality Gotham faced three decades ago and the gallant men and women of the NYPD rescued the city from those horrors. Many officers made the ultimate sacrifice then, too. 

But even the best police force cannot succeed without political leadership and public support, and both were key ingredients to the two decades of security and prosperity delivered by mayors Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. 

Tragically, that era ended under Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

His demonization of cops led to a defining incident in 2014 when hundreds of officers turned their backs on him as he eulogized a cop assassinated in a patrol car. 

What to know about the fatal shooting of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller:

Follow The Post’s complete coverage of fallen NYPD Officer Diller’s wake

Before the funeral, a police union official declared that de Blasio had “blood on his hands,” the same message delivered to Hochul. 

The question now is whether Hochul takes the message to heart and makes a major course correction. If she knows her history, she knows de Blasio didn’t and even embraced the “defund the police” movement by cutting the NYPD budget by $1 billion. 

The resulting decline in public safety marks him as one of the worst mayors ever. 

Kat’s utter inaction 

Hochul’s problem is that she talks a good game about keeping New Yorkers safe, but there’s nary a soul who would say she has delivered. 

She hasn’t figured out how to use her office’s considerable power. She’s a timid negotiator, giving away perks to legislators, such as a $32,000 pay hike two years ago, without getting anything in return. 

Indeed, the hike, which made state lawmakers the highest paid in America, could have been staggered to make sure legislators tightened the bail laws and gave judges more power to detain repeat offenders. But she didn’t even do that. 

Time and again, Hochul takes “no” for an answer, and instead of fighting back and enlisting support, quietly accepts defeat and acts as if she should get credit for trying. 

No dice. This is an emergency and trying isn’t good enough. 

Results are required, and she has no significant accomplishments combatting the crime that’s killing New York. That’s why she was berated at Diller’s wake and, given the history of the two men arrested, the family’s fury is understandable. 

The career criminal charged with murder, Guy Rivera, is a violent ex-con with 21 previous arrests. He allegedly fired when Diller approached a car parked in a bus lane, with Rivera in the front passenger seat. 

The driver, Lindy Jones, was arrested after a 9mm handgun was found in the glove compartment. He had been arrested at least 14 times. 

How Post readers can help

You can help Officer Jonathan Diller’s 1-year-old son via the Silver Shield Foundation, which will help fund his future education. Diller, 31, was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Queens, leaving behind his wife, Stephanie, and baby Ryan.

The Silver Shield Foundation was launched in 1982 by late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for the families of NYPD officers and FDNY firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty.

You can make a contribution at or send it to: Silver Shield Foundation, 870 UN Plaza, 1st Floor, New York, NY 10017.

The fact that both men were on the street illustrates the insanity of the state’s criminal justice, er, injustice, system. 

A top aide to the mayor pointedly laid out the stakes and the politicians’ duty. 

“What is it going to take for extremist advocates and elected officials to understand that what they have done to significantly weaken our public safety system is unnecessarily placing the public at risk,” Assistant Deputy Mayor Louis Molina railed on LinkedIn. 

Over to you, Gov. Hochul. Whose side are you on?

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