NY Gov. Kathy Hochul defends going to slain NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller’s wake after being told ‘his blood is on your hands’

Diller's family members told Hochul that “his blood is on your hands
Diller's family members told Hochul that “his blood is on your hands

Gov. Kathy Hochul said she “understands” why slain NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller’s family is “outraged,” but insisted Saturday she was never told to leave the hero cop’s wake — despite being abruptly told “his blood is on your hands.”

“I would do it again, and that’s my job,” said Hochul, defending her decision to attend Diller’s wake a day earlier on Long Island.

“We were told the family is welcoming. We always check, and they said to come, and I went. And no one told me to leave,” Hochul also told Politico during an Easter event at the governor’s mansion in Albany.

Gov. Kathy Hochul arriving at Jonathan Diller’s wake on March 29, 2024. Dennis A. Clark
Gov. Kathy Hochul arriving at Jonathan Diller’s wake on March 29, 2024. Dennis A. Clark
Attendees of Diller’s funeral told Hochul that “his blood is on your hands” at his wake. Dennis A. Clark
Attendees of Diller’s funeral told Hochul that “his blood is on your hands” at his wake. Dennis A. Clark

Speaking with Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation later Saturday, Hochul said she spoke with Diller’s wife Stephanie and other family members at the wake and conceded, “Everyone is just so distraught – and, yes, there’s a lot of anger.”

“Understandably there’s anger about how these individuals could commit crimes over and over and are back out on the street again,” added Hochul, who didn’t attend Saturday’s funeral service.

Since Diller, 31, was killed Monday during a traffic stop in Far Rockaway, Queens, Hochul has come under fire as the face of controversial bail reform, which law enforcement blames for the rise in recidivism.

Diller was killed during a routine traffic stop in Queens last week.
Diller was killed during a routine traffic stop in Queens last week.

Despite her own efforts to roll back the reforms, Hochul has failed to cut down the changes that many argue allow violent criminals onto the street and put cops and everyday New Yorkers at risk.

The prime suspect in Diller’s murder – 34-year-old Guy Rivera – has at least 21 prior arrests and did a five-year prison stint.

Diller’s widow Stephanie holding their 1-year-old-son Ryan at the funeral. James Keivom
Diller’s widow Stephanie holding their 1-year-old-son Ryan at the funeral. James Keivom
Hochul said she “understands” the anger Diller’s family is feeling. REUTERS
Hochul said she “understands” the anger Diller’s family is feeling. REUTERS

“We worked hard with the [state] Legislature last year to change the bail laws, so the judges have more discretion, and there’s a lot of complicated factors here,” said Hochul.

“But I totally understand the outrage of the family. I really do.”

“We are really working hard to keep crime down,” insisted Hochul, touting her order earlier this month to deploy 750 National Guardsmen and 250 state and MTA cops into NYC’s subway system.

Hochul, however, failed to address the Diller family member, who according to a source, confronted her at the wake and said, “We don’t want you here. You’re not wanted here. You have blood on your hands. If you want to do something, change the bail laws.”

Hochul spokesman Avi Small also declined to address the confrontation, only saying in an email that the governor “attended the wake … to mourn the loss of Officer Diller, offer her condolences and hear from his family and loved ones who are dealing with unimaginable grief.”