Advertisement

Young widow of slain NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller rips elected officials for allowing NYC crime to spiral during devastating eulogy

The young widow of slain hero cop Jonathan Diller tore into elected officials for allowing crime in NYC to spiral unchecked, as an estimated 10,000 people gathered in Long Island to salute her husband at his funeral Saturday.

“How many more police officers and how many more families have to make the ultimate sacrifice before we start protecting them?” Stephanie Diller, 29, tearfully demanded during her devastating eulogy inside St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Massapequa.

Detective Diller was fatally shot Monday during a traffic stop in Far Rockaway, Queens, allegedly by a pair of career criminal with dozens of prior arrests, authorities said.

Jonathan Diller’s widow, Stephanie, gave a powerful eulogy for her husband at his funeral on March 30, 2024. NYPD
Jonathan Diller’s widow, Stephanie, gave a powerful eulogy for her husband at his funeral on March 30, 2024. NYPD
Diller’s casket arriving at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Massapequa. Getty Images
Diller’s casket arriving at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Massapequa. Getty Images
Stephanie questioned how many other officers “have to make the ultimate sacrifice” before lawmakers help protect them. Getty Images
Stephanie questioned how many other officers “have to make the ultimate sacrifice” before lawmakers help protect them. Getty Images
Diller’s 1-year-old son Ryan reaching toward the casket outside the church. James Keivom
Diller’s 1-year-old son Ryan reaching toward the casket outside the church. James Keivom

His widow’s speech recounted warm memories of her 31-year-old husband and their life together — as their adorable son, Ryan, 1, dressed in a tiny navy blue suit, innocently babbled over her shoulder.

“I am so proud that thousands of people across the country are calling Jonathan a hero,” she said. “But the truth is he’s always been a hero to Ryan and me. The rest of the world is just catching up.”

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

The solemn service took place on Holy Saturday, one of the most mournful dates on the Christian calendar, and featured a Scripture reading centered on St. Michael, the traditional patron saint of police officers.

As the ceremony continued:

  • Diller was posthumously promoted to detective first grade, with a new badge number — 110, his son’s birthday. “What he loved most was being Ryan’s dad,” NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban explained.


  • The Rev. Michael Duffy, who celebrated the Dillers’ wedding in 2019, presided over the funeral service. “He did love you with every fiber of his body,” he told the grieving widow. “You guys are Jon’s everything.”

  • Locals poured out to support the ranks of law enforcement mourners, offering water bottles, snacks and bathrooms to the visitors, who came from as far away as Toronto and Miami.

  • Former President Donald Trump sent a huge spray of red, white and blue flowers to the church in sympathy.


  • The crowd included former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, and former NYPD Commissioners Keechant Sewell, Dermot Shea and Bernard Kerik.

Mayor Eric Adams attending Diller’s funeral, where he praised the young officer. Getty Images
Mayor Eric Adams attending Diller’s funeral, where he praised the young officer. Getty Images

Stephanie Diller’s eulogy came after stirring remarks from Caban, Mayor Eric Adams and PBA president Patrick Hendry.

Hendry teared up as he praised Diller as “our hero brother” and condemned the “dangerous, evil” pair who allegedly shot him dead in Queens on Monday.

An emotional Adams said, “The outpouring of grief for this young man is real, and it is raw.”

New York Post’s cover for March 31, 2024.
New York Post’s cover for March 31, 2024.
NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban comforting a mourner. NYPD
NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban comforting a mourner. NYPD
Diller was posthumously promoted to detective first grade. Eddie Caban/X
Diller was posthumously promoted to detective first grade. Eddie Caban/X

“He ran towards danger … undoubtedly saving lives,” Adams said, insisting that “This is a city of law and order, not disorder.”

But the sadness inside the church was matched by anger at the presence of left-wing Democratic politicians such as  Comptroller Brad Lander, who championed defunding the police in 2020, and state Attorney General Letitia James, whom critics have bashed as largely mum in the fight to fix the controversial  no-cash bail law.

“The failures by many of our legislators and city council members have brought us to the tragic moment of Officer Jonathan Diller’s line-of-duty murder, and a family who will now endure the pain of living without him,” said Detectives Endowment Association president Paul DiGiacomo.

“There are gun-toting career criminals released into our communities because of irresponsible bail reform laws — and a Civilian Complaint Review Board with a cop-hating agenda to dismantle the NYPD. They’ve created this lawless society with emboldened criminals ready to do New Yorkers harm.”

“I actually think it’s disrespectful that they are here,” said Terry Dunne of Massapequa.

“It’s disgusting,” said Tara Balestria, the wife of an NYPD lieutenant.

“They should have to go out and deal with the criminals on the streets.”

Diller’s casket being brought into the church at the beginning of the funeral. NYPD
Diller’s casket being brought into the church at the beginning of the funeral. NYPD
A crowd of police officers paying respects to Diller outside the church. James Keivom
A crowd of police officers paying respects to Diller outside the church. James Keivom

Retired NYPD Sgt. Brian Foley teared up as he stood in uniform outside the funeral and urged lawmakers who support bail reform to “walk a beat. They should walk a beat and then they can come talk to me.”

The funeral and its solemn pageantry is “one of the most beautiful things, to see all these people standing together for one reason, you can hear a pin drop,” said Foley.

“It is also the saddest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Diller’s accused killer, Guy Rivera, who allegedly opened fire during a routine traffic stop on Monday, has 21 prior arrests.

Lindy Jones, the ex-con allegedly behind the wheel who was arrested after a second gun was found in the vehicle, also has a lengthy rap sheet, authorities said.

“It’s despicable,” Foley lamented.

“He had over 20 arrests, career criminal already with a firearm. His driver had how many arrests, and had a firearm. It’s unbelievable.”

Stephanie Diller with a flag presented to her at the funeral. REUTERS
Stephanie Diller with a flag presented to her at the funeral. REUTERS

Maria Silverman, 50, a Manhattan-based actor married to an NYPD lieutenant, said Diller’s was the eighth funeral she’d attended for an officer killed in the line of duty.

“I’m a lifelong Democrat, but the thing where I really differ from the party line is support for the police,” she said.

“I think the way cops have been treated, 50,000 assaults a year, the maligning of their active service and sacrifice, is galling.”

“We shouldn’t have to be here,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “Laws need to be changed.”

Outside the brick church, little Ryan reached out to his father’s casket, draped in the NYPD’s green, white and blue flag, as it departed for the cemetery — while his mother tenderly kissed the boy’s head.

Uniformed police officers, firefighters in bunker gear, and at least 700 motorcyclists from all over the country lined the road leading to St. Charles Resurrection Cemetery in Farmingdale, where Diller was laid to rest.