Why even anti-cop pols should show their faces at Officer Diller’s funeral to feel NYPD’s pain

POLITICS: Why even anti-cop pols should show their faces at Officer Diller’s funeral to feel NYPD’s pain

New York City will bury another murdered police officer on Saturday.

Officer Jonathan Diller will receive a dignified, emotional farewell, attended by thousands of police from all over the country.

After the funeral service, his body will be carried from St. Rose of Lima R.C. Church in Massapequa, the casket draped in the green, white and blue NYPD flag, and placed in the funeral hearse.

The uniformed police pallbearers will remove the flag from the casket, fold it into a crisp military style triangle, and solemnly hand the flag to his widow.

A motorcade of several hundred police motorcycles will lead the procession to the cemetery.

As the motorcade starts to leave the church, the NYPD bagpipers will slowly march with only their drummers beating the slow funeral march, their drums draped in black and purple mourning cloth.

The hearse carrying his body will be accompanied by four uniformed police officers from the NYPD ceremonial unit on each side.

Solemn, somber ritual

The thousands of police mourners lining the route will smartly salute the officer’s casket as it passes by, accompanied by the solemn drum beats of the pipe band.

Civilians will remove their hats and place their hands over their hearts.

The pipers will begin to play a tune and the motorcade will proceed on to the cemetery.

NYPD officer Jonathan was fatally shot at 1919 Mott Ave.

A police officer’s funeral is one of the most searingly emotional experiences you can go through.

I’ve been to several and they never cease to move me.

I can’t imagine what is going on in the minds of the police officers in attendance.

For those who knew Officer Diller, there is a profound sense of loss, sorrow for the family and “what ifs.”

Diller leaves behind a wife, Stephanie, and their 1-year-old son Ryan. Gofundme

For those who didn’t know him, there is the thought of “who’s next?”

For the spouses and family of every police officer, it reenforces the fear that when they kiss them goodbye as they leave for work, it may be for the last time.

Officer Diller’s family will receive the support and love of the New York City Police Department and their family support groups for the rest of their lives.

But for the family, there is the torment of asking what did he die for?

Mourners line up outside the Massapequa Funeral Home in Massapequa, NY for the wake of slain NYPD officer Jonathan Diller. Dennis A. Clark for NY Post

That is a very difficult question, especially in a city where so many politicians are openly hostile to the police.

But Officer Diller didn’t let that stop him from doing his job.

He and his partner approached that car because it was suspiciously illegally parked and the incident escalated because the passenger/shooter refused to get out of the car.

Officer Diller didn’t know who he was dealing with.

Mourners start to gather at the Massapequa funeral home for the wake of Officer Jonathan Diller. Dennis A. Clark for NY Post

The perp who shot him was a predicate felon with 21 prior arrests.

The driver of the car had 14 prior arrests, spent nearly a decade in prison for shooting another man, and was out on bail on yet another pending gun case.

That is the risk that every police officer takes in New York City today — a seemingly innocuous encounter can end up in tragedy.

And yet, they take that risk every day they are working to protect people they will never know.

New York Mets home opener at Citi Field honoring fallen NYPD Police Officer Jonathan Diller. NYPDnews/X

A profound calling

The Bible tells us: “Greater love hath no man than this — that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

But think about what it means to lay down your life for a stranger.

Because that is what Officer Diller did.

By taking the actions they did, he and his partner took two very dangerous people off the street, something our justice system seems increasingly incapable of doing.

These two armed career criminals were a danger to every person in New York City and Officer Diller’s actions prevented them from harming or killing people he would never meet.

Those strangers are walking around alive today oblivious to the fact that Officer Diller gave his life so they could live.

Some police organizations are asking New York City politicians not to show up at the funeral today.

I fully understand the sentiments and anger behind that, but I disagree.

Our politicians should be there.

They should be there to see the teary-eyed faces of the police officers, young and not so young alike, as they see their fellow officer driven off to the cemetery, as they think “That could be me someday.”

They should be there as the drums beat a soulful funeral march ahead of the slain officer’s casket.

They should be there and watch as the NYPD flag is folded and handed to Officer Diller’s grieving widow.

And then they should go home and think of the harm they have done to the NYPD and this city.

They should then hug their own loved ones and have to think, “What have we done?”

Jim Quinn was executive district attorney in the Queens District ­Attorney’s Office, where he served for 42 years.

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