By NAN EDITORIAL TEAM
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Jan. 24, 2022: A Black police officer and son of Caribbean immigrants was senselessly shot and killed on Friday night, Jan. 21, 2022, in New York City. Another, a black Caribbean immigrant, is now fighting for his life. Both were allegedly shot by another Black man. But missing from the numerous tributes is the hash tag that has now become famous since the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota.
So, does #BlackLivesMatter only when a black person is killed by police, or does it matter in all senseless black on black crimes?
It certainly should. There cannot be a double standard. The Dominican Republic family of Officer Jason Rivera need to know his black life mattered. The Dominican Republic family of Officer Wilber Mora, who is fighting for his life in NYU Langone Medical Center now, need to know his black life matters.
Here are two black men, one a son of Caribbean immigrants and the other a Caribbean immigrant, who both wanted to right by their community. They checked all the boxes of what is proposed when the discussion focuses on bad policing and how it should be changed.
Officer Rivera, 22, who was born in Inwood, chose to become a cop because he wanted to make a difference in how his neighborhood was being policed. In his entrance essay according to the AP, Rivera wrote about how he was bothered by witnessing his brother being stopped and frisked. But his attitudes changed when he also saw how the department was trying to improve relationships with communities.
“I realized how impactful my role as a police officer would go in this chaotic city,” he wrote.
Rivera was a cop from the community he was born in, just what is recommended all the time.
Officer Mora, an immigrant, also wanted to make a difference. Both were Black officers, from Harlem, patrolling Harlem. Exactly what is asked for and recommended.
Now Officer Rivera’s family is preparing to bury him. His bride of mere months is now a widow, all because another black man, LaShawn McNeil, allegedly decided to callously open fire and play God.
Officer Mora is fighting for his life because of McNeil, an apparent career criminal, and his deviant action.
And another immigrant-origin officer, Sumit Sulan, is now “shaken” and “cannot get what happened out of his head.” Also, allegedly because of African American McNeil.
It’s time for #BlackLivesMatter to be trending once again, in tribute to Officer Rivera and in love for Officer Mora. It’s time to end the hypocrisy in the names of these officers.
Show up and pay tribute to Officer Rivera this Thursday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral –at the wake from 1 p.m.-8 p.m. Let’s start by proving that Black Lives Really Matter – All Black Lives!