Source: Screenshot, Insta Cuomo, YouTube Rivera

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Convicted NYPD Cop Killer Tapped To Help Shape New York Police Reforms

Convicted NYPD cop killer Richard Rivera has been given a seat at table for police reforms mandated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Richard Rivera killed NYPD police officer Robert Walsh execution style in 1981. Now, the convicted cop killer is participating on a police reform panel in New York state.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has mandated communities submit police reform plans in the wake of George Floyd’s death. And, Richard Rivera has been given a seat at that table despite murdering a police officer. 

NYPD Officer Robert Walsh had finished his shift and was having a drink with friend before heading home. Officer Walsh, 36, had been on the force for 12 years and was a highly decorated cop. 

Rivera and his four friends entered the Queens bar to rob it.

When Walsh attempted to prevent the crime and announced himself as a police officer, Rivera shot him in the shoulder.

Before fleeing the bar with stolen cash, Rivera, who was 16 at the time, returned to Walsh and shot him in the head. 

Richard Rivera Convicted Of Execution Style Slaying Of NYPD Officer

“It was an execution,” William J. Devine, first deputy police commissioner, said in the aftermath of the murder. “The officer no longer was a threat to the men. He was given a death sentence for being a police officer.”

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The cop killer was released from prison in 2019 after serving 38 years.

Somehow his experience has landed him a spot on an Ithaca and Tompkins County panel as part of embattled Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative.”

Astonishingly, Rivera claims he is working on police reforms in Walsh’s memory.

The ex con has been given a prominent role in New York on a panel working on what many view as the “Defund the Police” movement. 

“I know people are going to be critical,’ Rivera, 56, told The New York Post. ‘I don’t know if [Walsh’s] family would find this acceptable. I can’t control that. What I can control is the way I’ve been living my life,” Rivera told the New York Post. 

“I’m holding the memory of Officer Walsh to the highest standard of policing in terms of a protector to the community, somebody who cares for the community,” he continued. 

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NYPD Officer Walsh’s Family Reacts

Walsh’s family did not find it acceptable that the cop killer has an official role in reforming the police.

Officer Robert Walsh

“We’re completely shocked that the man who murdered my father is being trusted to create police reforms,” Robert Walsh Jr. said.

“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,” the still grieving son continued.

Pat Lynch, who is president of the Police Benevolent Association, did not hold back his anger regarding Rivera’s new role. 

“It’s outrageous and despicable,” Lynch said. “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?”

“The entire process has trampled on the ideals that police officers like Robert Walsh upheld. It’s the ultimate disrespect to his service and sacrifice,” he said. 

Rivera claims he turned his life around in prison and found his calling in social work. But, many view his official role in reforming the police to be a slap in the face. 

This is Andrew Cuomo’s New York.

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