You wouldn’t hire a drug addict to work the night shift in the pharmacy at CVS. You certainly wouldn’t put a pedophile on lunch duty at a local elementary school, so why would anyone in their right mind have a cop killer working on a police reform panel in a major city in the same state where he killed a cop 40 years ago?
Republican leaders in Albany, NY are furious that cop killer Richard Rivera, who killed an off-duty NYPD officer in a Queens bar 40 years ago, is now sitting on a police reform board for Ithaca and Tompkins County.
New York Post reports – State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt and Tom O’Mara, whose district includes Ithaca and part of Tompkins County, described Rivera’s appointment as “a punch in the gut to police officers around New York State and their families.”
“We understand the importance of second chances,” Ortt and O’Mara continued.
“But a second chance should never include giving power over police reform to a cold-blooded criminal who killed a member of our law enforcement community execution-style. It is completely inappropriate, and he should be removed immediately.”
Fox News reports- Nassau County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President James McDermott told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday that Richard Rivera, who murdered off-duty officer and dad-of-four Robert Walsh in 1981, should step down from a city’s police reform panel.
McDermott, who spent decades serving with the NYPD and the Nassau County Police Department on Long Island, N.Y., argued that Rivera is “not somebody that would have an unbiased opinion and that’s the least of it.”
“In 1981, Robert Walsh was in this bar in Queens, off duty, and Mr. Rivera came in with four other masked gun-toting assailants who robbed the place,” McDermott explained, noting that Walsh identified himself as a police officer and Rivera then “shot him in the shoulder.”
He also noted that Rivera could have fled, but instead “put the gun to his [Walsh’s] head,” pulled the trigger and killed him.
“Now, 39 years later, you’re going to put him on a board for police reform?” he asked, before echoing Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, who told the New York Post having Rivera on the committee is “outrageous and despicable.’’
The Post reported one of Walsh’s sons said, “We’re completely shocked that the man who murdered my father is being trusted to create police reforms.”
“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.”
McDermott called Rivera’s role on the police reform panel “the cherry on top of the sundae.”