Trump attends wake for fallen NYPD officer as he ramps up rhetoric on crime

March 28, 2024


After attending the wake Thursday of slain New York police officer Jonathan Diller, former President Donald Trump expressed outrage over the killing and used the opportunity to tout his position on the need to curb crime.

“What happened is such a sad, sad event — such a horrible thing and it’s happening all too often and we’re just not going to let it happen,” Trump said to cameras outside of the Massapequa Funeral Home after the wake, flanked by about a dozen police officers.

Diller was shot and killed Monday in Queens after he approached an illegally parked vehicle.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump arrives for the wake for NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller in Long Island, New York, on March 28, 2024.Angela Weiss / AFP – Getty Images

Trump called the suspect a “thug” and said that he and the driver of the vehicle had a prior arrest record.

“They don’t learn because they don’t respect,” Trump said. “They’re not given the respect…police are the greatest people we have. There’s nothing and there’s nobody like ’em.” 

Trump used the opportunity to push his views about cracking down on crime, saying, “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.”

The former president was applauded by people who came out of the funeral home and others nearby.

Trump previously posted on his Truth Social website that his “heartfelt prayers go out to the family” of Diller, adding that the officer’s “life was taken by a murderous career criminal.”

“To Officer Diller’s family, and all of the other brave men and women of law enforcement who put your lives on the line every day, we love you, we appreciate you, and we will always stand with you!” Trump said in his post.

Trump was already in New York, having attended a hearing Monday in the hush money case against him. He has not held a major campaign event since March 16.

Dignified Transfer Of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller At Jamaica Hospital In Queens, US - 25 Mar 2024
The body of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller is walked out of Jamaica Hospital in Queens, N.Y., during a dignified transfer on March 25, 2024.Kyle Mazza / Sipa USA via AP

“President Trump is moved by the invitation to join NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller’s family and colleagues as they deal with his senseless and tragic death,” Trump campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt said in a statement Wednesday.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden spoke to New York City Mayor Eric Adams about Diller’s killing and offered the mayor, the city of New York and the New York Police Department his support, the White House said Thursday. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said Thursday that the president offered Adams, New York City and the NYPD his “full support in the wake of the tragedy.”

Biden will also be in New York on Thursday for a major campaign fundraising event alongside former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Trump has often railed against crime rates in New York City, and he has falsely asserted that the city’s violent crime rate “hit unimaginable records.” The rate of major crimes is down by more than 20% since 2001, according to police crime data.

Trump regularly blames Democrats, including Biden, for crime rates.

New York Police Commissioner Edward A. Caban mourned Diller on X, saying that “this city lost a hero, a wife lost her husband, and a young child lost their father.”

“We struggle to find the words to express the tragedy of losing one of our own,” Caban said in the post. “The work that Police Officer Jonathan Diller did each day to make this city a safer place will NEVER be forgotten.”

Diller received a dignified transfer Tuesday, looked on by New York police officers paying their respects.

The last time a New York City officer died in the line of duty was in January 2022, when Detectives Wilbert Mora, 27, and Jason Rivera, 22, were killed responding to a 911 call in Harlem.


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