A number of Americans believe that police departments across the country could benefit from various levels of reform. Oftentimes that “reform” is taken entirely too far to the point where it results in increased crime and other extremely predictable consequences.
But leave it to New York to come up with the most insane, unbelievable approach to reforming police departments, as according to the New York Post, convicted cop-killer Richard Rivera has been placed on an advisory board for Ithaca and Tompkins County in an effort known as the “Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative,” an initiative launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
For a quick background, Rivera was convicted of carrying out an execution-style murder of deceased NYPD police officer Robert Walsh — a father of four — in 1981. Walsh was murdered in cold blood by Rivera and a gang of thugs while off-duty and sitting in a local bar, minding his own business.
At the time of his death, Walsh was a cowboy hat-wearing, 36-year-old decorated cop sitting in the BVD Bar and Grill in Maspeth. Rivera, who was only 16-years-old at the time, burst into the bar looking to rob it. Walsh identified himself as a cop and drew his weapon, but not before Rivera fired a round into his shoulder.
As Walsh lay struggling on the ground after taking the shot, Rivera walked up to him, placed the gun at the hero cop’s head and executed him on the spot. Rivera ultimately served 39 years in prison for his murderous act.
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And fast-forward to current times, Rivera is now part of an official panel aiming to “reform” New York police departments.
It’s enough to make one sick to their stomachs, and Walsh’s family agrees.
“We’re completely shocked that the man who murdered my father is being trusted to create police reforms,” said Walsh’s son, Robert Walsh.
“My father dedicated his life to serving and protecting New Yorkers. He should be the one serving on a panel to help reimagine policing, but he’ll never get that chance,” he added.
Rivera, on the other hand, is adamant that he’s spending the rest of his years trying to help make things better for everyone.
“I live my life in a way that honors and respects [Officer Walsh’s] memory,” the ex-con told The Post. “That is advocating for people who can’t advocate for themselves.”
Reaction to Rivera’s appointment to such a panel has been met with harsh criticism from the policing community, including from Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association. Lynch doesn’t care about Rivera’s attempt to make up for his horrific crimes, saying that he’s the last person who should be on such a panel.
“Not only did this cop-killer get paroled, but now he gets a seat at the table to help dismantle a police department. Did anybody expect him to be fair and open-minded in his review?” Lynch said.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org