This article is from the source 'nytimes' and was first published or seen on . The next check for changes will be

You can find the current article at its original source at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/25/nyregion/wilbert-mora-dead-nypd-shooting.html

The article has changed 3 times. There is an RSS feed of changes available.

Version 1 Version 2
2nd N.Y.P.D. Officer Dies of Wounds From Harlem Shooting 2nd N.Y.P.D. Officer Dies of Wounds From Harlem Shooting
(about 5 hours later)
A second New York City police officer has died from injuries sustained on Friday when a gunman opened fire during a domestic disturbance call in Harlem, the police commissioner announced on Tuesday. As a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2018, the same year he joined the New York Police Department, Officer Wilbert Mora studied the effects of stop-and-frisk tactics and less confrontational strategies like community policing on neighborhoods like East Harlem, where he lived.
The officer, Wilbert Mora, who joined the Police Department in 2018, was mortally wounded along with his partner, Jason Rivera, 22, who was pronounced dead on Friday. Officer Mora, 27, was rushed into surgery at Harlem Hospital. His partner, Jason Rivera, had experienced aggressive policing firsthand: As a young man growing up in the Inwood area of Manhattan, he and his brother had been stopped without cause. He decided to join the force in an effort to improve the relationship between the department and communities like his.
In the days that followed, police officials and Mayor Eric Adams described Mr. Mora as fighting for his life at the hospital. On Friday, as the two officers responded to a domestic disturbance call in Harlem, a gunman opened fire inside a cramped hallway, killing Officer Rivera and gravely wounding Officer Mora. On Tuesday, the police announced that Officer Mora had also died of his injuries.
But Officer Mora’s injuries were too severe, and two days after being transferred to NYU Langone Medical Center, he was pronounced dead. Commissioner Keechant Sewell said on Tuesday that Officer Mora was a “hero” for both his service on the force and for becoming an organ donor in his death. The two young officers Mora was 27, Rivera was 22 were emblematic of a changing police force that has struggled to repair its relationships with the city’s Black and Hispanic communities. Both Latino in a department that was once overwhelmingly white, the officers were cognizant of problems with policing and eager to play a role in confronting them.
Officer Mora’s family chose to have his organs donated, said Leonard Achan, the president of LiveOnNY, the designated organ procurement agency for the New York metro area, which handled Officer Mora’s donation. Today, more than 30 percent of the Police Department’s nearly 35,000 uniformed officers are Latino. The ranks of Latino officers have grown in recent years alongside Asian officers, while the share of Black officers has stagnated.
This week, Officer Mora’s organs were in the process of being matched to patients on wait lists, Mr. Achan said. Officers Rivera and Mora were part of a growing contingency of Dominican officers. On Tuesday, at a memorial outside Officer Mora’s home in East Harlem, a diverse group from the 32nd Precinct, where Officers Rivera and Mora were assigned, stood reading messages left by well-wishers and wiping away tears.
“When Officer Wilbert Mora’s family was notified of his passing, his family knew their brave and dedicated son would want to continue to save lives, even in death,” Mr. Achan said in a statement. “Officer Mora’s final gift was the gift of life to others in need.” In an email to officers announcing Officer Mora’s death on Tuesday, Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the department’s grief is “incalculable.”
Officers Mora and Rivera, she wrote, “were dedicated, courageous and compassionate officers, loved by many.”
“The pain their families feel is immeasurable,” she said.
Officer Mora graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, where he showed a deep interest in how the police should operate in New York City’s predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods.
Professor Irina Zakirova, who taught his capstone seminar, said in an emailed statement that he was “a curious and passionate” student who was excited about joining the Police Department and made class discussions richer with his input.
“He even wrote his final research paper examining the effectiveness of proactive and reactive policing in reducing crime, discussing the effects of stop and frisk, and community policing in New York City,” she said. “I recall discussing his paper with him, and I found him to be very knowledgeable about the history of policing and police reforms in New York City.”
Officers Mora and Rivera grew up during the height of stop and frisk, and were teenagers when a landmark federal ruling in 2013 declared the tactics violated the civil rights of mostly young Black and Hispanic men in the city, who were stopped and searched millions of times for weapons and drugs by officers with no legal justification. Since then, the number of stops has plummeted, and the city has developed new protocols under the guidance of a federal monitor.
In announcing Officer Mora’s death on Tuesday, the police described his family’s decision to donate his organs for transplant as a final act of service.
Leonard Achan, the president of LiveOnNY, the designated organ procurement agency for the New York metro area, said Officer Mora’s family “are huge supporters of organ donation, they wanted to make sure that their son’s legacy, brother’s legacy as well, would be that he saved lives in his death as well as in his life.”
On Twitter, Mayor Eric Adams mourned Officer Mora.
“He served his city, protected his community and gave his life for our safety,” Mr. Adams wrote.
At Officer Mora’s apartment complex on East 112th Street on Tuesday, two tables set up on each side of the front entrance carried bouquets of white flowers and more than nine dozen blue candles, many of them lit by other officers stationed outside.
For about 15 minutes that afternoon, the group of officers from the 32nd Precinct stood in front of the lit candles reading the notes that were left for Officer Mora. They eventually came together in a group embrace, placing their arms over one another in a circle, and held each other as they walked away.
Before Officer Mora’s death was announced, officers and community members had left messages on four posters like “Stay strong, we are all praying for you, bro” and “Keep fighting! We need you, next to us!”
Linder Williams, who lives in the neighborhood, dropped off a blue candle, saying she felt compelled to express her condolences for the officer. Her stepdaughter lived in the same building as Officer Mora, Ms. Williams said, and had told her of how compassionate he and his family were.
“Everybody’s so heartbroken,” Ms. Williams, 68, said. “It was such a good family. I cried, I’ll tell you. It’s such a loss.”
Ms. Williams wrote Officer Mora a brief message on one of the posters at the memorial: “Thank you for all you’ve done and God bless u.”
The shooting on Friday was the first time two city police officers had been killed in the line of duty since 2014, when Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were ambushed and shot at point-blank range while they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn.The shooting on Friday was the first time two city police officers had been killed in the line of duty since 2014, when Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were ambushed and shot at point-blank range while they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn.
“True heroes never die. Our brother Police Officer Wilbert Mora has left us, but he will live on in the heart of every New York City police officer from this day forward,” said Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, the city’s largest police union. “True heroes never die,” said Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, the city’s largest police union. “Our brother Police Officer Wilbert Mora has left us, but he will live on in the heart of every New York City police officer from this day forward.”
Police officials said Officers Rivera and Mora had responded around 6:30 p.m. to a call from a woman who said her son had threatened her. When they arrived, the son, later identified by the police as Lashawn McNeil, was in a bedroom down a narrow hallway.Police officials said Officers Rivera and Mora had responded around 6:30 p.m. to a call from a woman who said her son had threatened her. When they arrived, the son, later identified by the police as Lashawn McNeil, was in a bedroom down a narrow hallway.
As Officers Rivera and Mora approached the bedroom door, Mr. McNeil, 47, emerged and began firing, officials said. Both officers were struck; Mr. McNeil was shot in the arm and the head by a third officer as he tried to leave the apartment. Mr. McNeil died on Monday of his injuries.As Officers Rivera and Mora approached the bedroom door, Mr. McNeil, 47, emerged and began firing, officials said. Both officers were struck; Mr. McNeil was shot in the arm and the head by a third officer as he tried to leave the apartment. Mr. McNeil died on Monday of his injuries.
Reached by phone at a number registered to a member of Officer Mora’s family on Sunday, a man who answered was briefly overcome by emotion and declined to speak about him. Officer Mora, while a student at John Jay, had interests beyond policing. He studied music and sang bass in a choir, said Gregory Sheppard, who was one of Officer Mora’s professors. He said Officer Mora was soft-spoken, thoughtful and reflective, and had impressed his teacher with his devotion to mastering the material.
Four officers were shot in the city last week. On Tuesday, a patrol officer was shot in the leg while confronting a teenage suspect in the Bronx, the police said, and on Thursday, a detective was shot while executing a search warrant in Staten Island. Neither of those injuries was life-threatening. He said Officer Mora’s death had taken an emotional toll on his former students who had also become police officers.
Officers Rivera and Mora had been assigned to the 32nd Precinct in Harlem. Officer Mora was assigned to the precinct in 2019, according to a Police Department profile. Officer Rivera, who had roughly 18 months on the job, had been assigned to the precinct in May. “It has had a really profound effect on all of them,” he said. “There’s a lot of sadness, frustration and anger.”
Chelsia Rose Marcius, Troy Closson and Rebecca Davis O’Brien contributed reporting.Chelsia Rose Marcius, Troy Closson and Rebecca Davis O’Brien contributed reporting.