Op-Ed

New York police officers gather for the funeral of officer Wilbert Mora on Wednesday in New York.

Op-Ed

New York police officers gather for the funeral of officer Wilbert Mora on Wednesday in New York. (Ed Jones – AFP / Getty Images)

 By Michael Letts  February 3, 2022 at 5:03pm

Maybe Americans are waking up to the fact that we need the police, and that they aren’t our enemies or psychotic killers.

Last month, New York Police Department officer Jason Rivera, who was only 22 years old, was shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call in Harlem. Another police officer, 27-year-old Wilbert Mora, was shot during the same incident and died four days later. (This is just one reason why police officers not only need personal protective equipment, but they need to use it.)

During Rivera’s funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, thousands of police officers crowded the closed streets to pay their respects. Plenty of citizens were among the sea of blue.

By and large, it seems that New Yorkers accepted this temporary inconvenience to allow proper honor to be given to a man who gave his life trying to help them. However, the scene seemed to trigger Jacqueline Guzman, an actress with Face to Face Films, a theater and film company.

In a TikTok video that has since been removed, Guzman complained about the streets being closed. She said officials “do not need to shut down most of Lower Manhattan because one cop died for probably doing his job incorrectly.”

Not only is this rude and tone-deaf, but it ignores the fact that the streets were shut down to accommodate the crowds. Ms. Guzman wasn’t finished, though.

“They kill people who are under 22 every single day for no good reason, and we don’t shut down the city for them,” she continued. “This is f***ing ridiculous. What if somebody’s having a heart attack in this area? Nobody can get to them because it’s all blocked off for one f***ing cop.”

In a rare instance, cancel culture came for someone on the left. The video generated so much backlash that Face to Face Films fired the actress.

“Face to Face Films has just been made aware of an insensitive video involving one of our members, Jacqueline Guzman. Face to Face Films does not support nor can condone these comments made about fallen Officer Rivera. As a result, she is no longer a member of our company,” the company said in a statement.

Guzman wasn’t the only actress who seemed triggered by the fact that people wanted to honor a slain officer. Susan Sarandon shared a picture of all the uniformed police gathered for Rivera’s funeral, writing, “So, if all these cops weren’t needed for CRIME that day, doesn’t that mean they aren’t needed ANY day.”

pic.twitter.com/lM1ZXN8dWY

— Susan Sarandon (@SusanSarandon) February 1, 2022


The NYPD has about 36,000 uniformed officers whom Sarandon must think work 24/7. Otherwise, she would have realized that many of these men and women weren’t on duty, and many others in the sea of blue were probably officers from other police forces who wanted to honor a fallen brother.

Thankfully, while Guzman and Sarandon are free to speak their minds, so are the people who have responded to their ignorant comments. These types of people also turned out for Rivera’s funeral or to line the streets of Bradley, Illinois, for Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic, who was killed in the line of duty at the end of 2021.

It is lovely to see police getting this kind of support. A majority of Americans recognize that not all police abuse their power and that law enforcement officers are needed to take on risks and duties that everyday citizens can’t.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

Michael Letts is the founder and CEO of In-VestUSA, a national grassroots non-profit organization helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship and fundraising programs.

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