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Jan 6 police officer slams ‘opportunistic grifter’ Trump as former president hails ‘law and order’ at NYPD cop’s wake

Donald Trump is facing criticism after attending the wake of slain NYPD officer Jonathan Diller even as he’s pushing for the pardoning of January 6 rioters who battled with US Capitol and Washington DC police officers just over three years ago.

Mr Diller was shot and killed as he was doing traffic stops this week. On Monday, he approached a car that was illegally parked with a fellow officer. The suspects in the car – Lindy Jones and Guy Rivera – refused to roll down the windows or to move their car. They also didn’t show their hands when asked to. Mr Rivera allegedly then shot Mr Diller, who died after being taken to hospital.

At the age of 42, Aquilino Gonell had to retire from his career as a police officer because of the injuries he sustained on January 6, 2021 during the insurrection.

In a statement to The Independent on Thursday, Mr Gonell said of Mr Trump: “As the opportunistic grifter that he is, he claims to support the police, law and order, the rule of law yet, he has not met with any officers from Capitol Police who were injured and assaulted or the ones that lost their lives because of his actions and inaction in his attempt to cling to power and the mob that he incited and wanted to lead.”

On Thursday, speaking to the press after attending Mr Diller’s wake, Mr Trump said, “What happened is such a sad, sad, sad event – such a horrible thing. And it's happening all too often and we're just not going to let it happen. We just can't”.

Mr Gonell went on to tell The Independent that “this is the same person who calls the rioters ‘patriots, political prisoners, and hostages’ instead of calling them for what they are... convicted criminals”.

“Imagine Trump calling the criminal who killed this officer in NYC ‘a hostage’ or anything but a criminal. That’s what he is doing to the Jan 6 criminals who beat officers and breached the Capitol,” he added.

“The death of the officer in NYC is tragic and reminds all of us of the sacrifices and commitment the men and women in uniform make every day regardless [of the political affiliation or religion of the] people they protect and serve. I hope the full extent of the law is applied to bring this officer’s killer to justice. Rest In Peace and may his memory be a blessing,” Mr Gonell concluded.

On Thursday, Mr Trump said, “police are the greatest people ... and this should never happen”.

“We have to stop it. We have to get back to law and order. We have to do a lot of things differently because this is not working. This is happening too often,” he added.

Lawyer Ron Filipkowski wrote on X on Thursday afternoon that “Nobody exploits a murder like Trump,” adding that “Meanwhile, he wants to pardon people who beat up cops on J6”.