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Slain NYPD cop Jonathan Diller remembered at heartbreaking funeral

“He was just eager to learn and at the end of the night he would tell everybody he loved us.”

NYPD Officer Killed

This photo provided by the New York City Police Department shows police officer Jonathan Diller, who was killed in the line of duty on Monday, March 25, 2024, in New York. According to the city’s mayor and police, Diller was shot and killed during a traffic stop in the Far Rockaway section of Queens. The officer and his partner were part of the NYPD Critical Response Team. (New York City Police Department via AP)


By Rocco Parascandola, Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Each h night when he ended his shift as a member of the Queens North Community Response Team, NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller would turn to his colleagues and tell them he loved them.

On a sunny, wind-swept Saturday morning, with tears running down their faces, his fellow cops returned the sentiment.

St. Rose of Lima R.C. Church in Massapequa was awash in a sea of blue as hundreds of cops stood shoulder to shoulder to pay their final respects to the young husband and father shot dead on Monday in Queens.

A squadron of silent bagpipers, keeping cadence to a lone drummer, led the honor guard who carried Diller’s casket into the church, followed by his widow Stephanie holding their 1-year-old son Ryan, bouncing the tot on her hip.

Little Ryan was dressed in a tiny suit.

Those in attendance included Mayor Adams and NYPD Police Commissioner Edward Caban. Mourners who attended Diller’s wake Thursday and Friday included former President Trump and Gov. Hochul.

Diller, a three-year NYPD veteran has been hailed as a hero for his dedication to public safety.

The 31-year-old cop was a 2010 graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset, where he was a member of the lacrosse team and helped his teammates win two championships.

He “always had a smile on his face,” his former teachers remembered.

His love of athletics continued with the NYPD, where he played catcher for the precinct softball team. He was highly regarded by colleagues, racking up 70 quality arrests by the time he was shot dead.

Diller was a member of the Queens North Community Response Team during Monday’s fatal encounter with Guy Rivera, 34, who is now charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting Diller and with attempted murder for trying to shoot Sgt. Sasha Rosen.

Rivera’s gun jammed after he fired a single fatal shot and Rosen escaped unharmed, according to police.

Each day, Diller would come to work with a “positive energy” that couldn’t be matched, his Community Response Team supervisor Sgt. David Pierson told the Daily News Friday.

“He was just eager to learn and at the end of the night he would tell everybody he loved us,” Pierson recalled fondly. “I never saw him aggressive, cynical, none of that. He was there to learn, he was there to work and it was just great to have him around.

“Everybody was eager to work with him,” said Pierson.

Come Monday, Pierson and his fellow cops will try to find their footing again in the wake of their colleague’s death.

“It’s a cliche to say, but John would want us to be out there,” Pierson said. “He’d want us to be doing the work he loved to do. We’re going to have to be together as a team and go out there as a team. We’ll keep him in our thoughts when we’re out there.”

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