Connect with us

US

NYC cop-killer now helping to reform the police

Published

on

[ad_1]

He fatally shot an NYPD cop execution-style decades ago in a Queens bar — and now Richard Rivera is helping reform police in upstate New York as part of a state-mandated plan launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The cop-killer — who murdered off-duty officer and dad-of-four Robert Walsh in 1981 — sits on a panel for Ithaca and Tompkins County as part of its “Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative.’’

The advisory group was formed after Cuomo ordered municipalities to submit police-reform plans to the state by April 1 following George Floyd’s death.

“I know people are going to be critical,’’ killer-turned-homeless advocate Rivera, 56, told The Post on Monday when asked about the possible reaction to him sitting on the committee.

“I don’t know if [Walsh’s] family would find this acceptable,’’ he said. “I can’t control that. What I can control is the way I’ve been living my life.

“I’m holding the memory of Officer Walsh to the highest standard of policing in terms of a protector to the community, somebody who cares for the community.”

Robert Walsh, the NYPD officer who was killed in 1981 by Richard Rivera.
Robert Walsh, the NYPD officer who was killed in 1981 by Richard Rivera.

But one of the slain officer’s sons said Rivera doesn’t have to wonder any longer what the family thinks — it is disgusted by the ex-con’s position on the advisory panel.

“We’re completely shocked that the man who murdered my father is being trusted to create police reforms,” Robert Walsh Jr., 47, told The Post through a rep.

“My father dedicated his life to serving and protecting New Yorkers. He should be the one serving on a panel to help reimagine policing, but he’ll never get that chance.”

Rivera was 16 years old when he and four other gun-toting teens donned masks and strolled into the BVD Bar and Grill in Maspeth just after midnight Jan. 12, 1981, looking to rob the joint.

Officer Walsh, a 36-year-old highly decorated cop with 12 years on the force, was inside wearing a cowboy hat hanging out after his shift.

What unfolded next was nothing short of a coldblooded “execution,’’ a police official said in a front-page Post article at the time.

As the hero off-duty officer identified himself as a cop and reached for his gun to try to stop the robbery, Rivera shot him in the shoulder. Rivera then walked over to the officer as he lay helplessly wounded on the floor, pressed his gun to the cop’s head and blasted him again, authorities said.

“I guess it was just something he felt like doing,’’ the police official said of Rivera.

The teenage killer spent 39 years behind bars for the cold-blooded killing, before being released in 2019.

Rivera told The Post that he has since been working with a nonprofit helping to provide the homeless with shelter and food.

He said his work with the upstate prison-reform committee mainly consists of surveying homeless people about how they may be criminalized just because they are on the streets or over their mental issues.

“I feel that I’m living my life in a way that I feel is for the betterment of the people around me,’’ said Rivera — who opined to Ithaca Week last month about his post-prison outreach work.

Vincent Dinicolantonio (left) and Richard Rivera (center) under arrest for the murder of NYPD Officer Robert Walsh on January 14, 1981.
Vincent Dinicolantonio (left) and Richard Rivera (center) under arrest for the murder of NYPD Officer Robert Walsh on January 14, 1981.
Photo by staff photographer Robert Kalfus/New York Post/Photo Archives, LLC via Getty Images

“I live my life in a way that honors and respects [Officer Walsh’s] memory,” the ex-con told The Post. “That is advocating for people who can’t advocate for themselves.”

But Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said it doesn’t matter what kind of feel-good work Rivera does now — he is the last person who should be doling out advice on police reform.

“It’s outrageous and despicable,’’ the union chief raged to The Post.

“Not only did this cop-killer get paroled, but now he gets a seat at the table to help dismantle a police department. Did anybody expect him to be fair and open-minded in his review?

“The entire process has trampled on the ideals that police officers like Robert Walsh upheld. It’s the ultimate disrespect to his service and sacrifice.”

A recent photo of Richard Rivera who spent 39 years in prison for killing a NYPD officer in 1981.
A recent photo of Richard Rivera who spent 39 years in prison for killing a NYPD officer in 1981.
The Appeal

Cuomo last summer ordered every municipality in the state with a police department to devise a plan reflecting “systemic reform” in the wake of Floyd’s death at the hands of cops in Minneapolis in May.

Opening statements in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the white former cop who knelt on the unarmed black man’s neck for nearly 9 minutes, kicked off Monday.

Cuomo said when announcing the police-reform measure that any local government failing to provide a plan would lose “a significant amount” of state money.

The upstate “collaborative” of which Rivera is a member did not return repeated messages from The Post seeking comment Monday.

Additional reporting by Kate Sheehy

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

US

NYPD releases video of gunman firing into group in the Bronx

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

New video tweeted by the NYPD Sunday shows a gunman wildly firing down a Bronx street into a group of people in Fordham Manor, leaving two men wounded, cops said.

“WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know this guy?” the NYPD wrote on Twitter.

“On 6/25/21 at approx 11:10 PM, in front of 2710 Morris Ave in the Bronx, the suspect fired several rounds towards a group, striking a 26-year-old male and a 20-year-old. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS.”

The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
NYPD
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
NYPD
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
NYPD

The 26-year-old was shot in the buttocks and the 20-year-old was shot in the leg, police said. Both were expected to survive.

The victims said they were standing with a group of friends when the “guy just came up and started shooting,” a police spokesman said.

No words were exchanged, video shows. 

There were no immediate arrests.

Source link



[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

US

FDA finds peeling paint, debris at US plant making J&J’s COVID vaccine

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

A US plant that was making Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine must fix a long list of problems including peeling paint and unsanitary conditions and practices to resume operation, according to a highly critical report by the Food and Drug Administration.

Experts said addressing the issues raised in the scathing FDA inspection report could take months.

Neither J&J nor the FDA has said when they expect vaccine production to restart at the Baltimore plant owned by Emergent Biosolutions. Only two other plants are currently equipped to supply the world with the key drug substance for J&J’s vaccine.

“It may take many months to make these changes,” said Prashant Yadav, a global health care supply chain expert at the Center for Global Development. He described some of the issues raised by the FDA as “quite significant.”

No vaccine manufactured at the Emergent plant has been distributed for use in the United States. However, J&J said it will exercise its oversight authority to ensure that all of the FDA observations are addressed promptly and comprehensively.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on a pause in the US over a potential link to a blood clotting condition.
Getty Images

The health care conglomerate has drawn scrutiny for months over its halting process to scale up production of a vaccine that is easier to handle and, by virtue of being a single shot, easier to use than other authorized vaccines.

Its use in the United States has been paused since last week as health officials study a possible link to a very rare but serious blood clot condition.

Emergent has been seeking regulatory authorization to make the J&J vaccine in the United States. It stopped production at the plant recently, saying the FDA had asked it to do so after an inspection.

J&J’s plant in Leiden, the Netherlands, is still producing doses for the world. It has another facility in India, which is currently curtailing exports of the shot as it struggles to vaccinate its own population.

Johnson & Johnson reiterated on Wednesday that it was working to establish a global supply chain in which 10 manufacturing sites would be involved in the production of its COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the Leiden plant.

The company has a US government-brokered agreement with rival drugmaker Merck, which is preparing to make doses of J&J’s vaccine.

Failure to train personnel

The FDA in its final 12-page inspection report said it had reviewed security camera footage in addition to an in-person site visit to the Emergent plant.

It found a failure to train personnel to avoid cross-contamination of COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which had also been produced at the site. The agency also cited staff carrying unsealed bags of medical waste in the facility, bringing it in contact with containers of material used in manufacturing.

The FDA reviewed security camera footage and visited the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore.
Getty Images

Earlier this week, the House launched an investigation into whether Emergent used its relationship with a Trump administration official to get a vaccine manufacturing contract despite a record of not delivering on contracts.

Emergent said in a statement that it is working with the FDA and J&J to quickly resolve the issues outlined in the report.

Production of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the United States, was previously stopped at the Emergent plant after ingredients from that shot contaminated a batch of J&J vaccine, ruining millions of doses.

The FDA also noted that Emergent did not produce adequate reports showing that the vaccines it was producing met quality standards.

The inspection, carried out between April 12 and April 20, also found the building not of suitable size or design to facilitate cleaning, maintenance or proper operations.

J&J said it was redoubling its efforts to get authorization for the facility as quickly as possible.

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

US

One dead after pair of fires breaks out in Manhattan

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

One person was killed and several others were injured in a pair of Manhattan fires Wednesday morning, officials said.

The first blaze erupted in Midtown around 8:15 a.m. inside a DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse at 213 W. 34th St., where an escalator became fully engulfed in flames — sending smoke billowing into the first and second floor and the interconnected 40-story hotel building, fire officials said.

It was not immediately clear which hotel it was.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries putting out the blaze.

“The fire went out, but we have a smoke condition that we’re trying to alleviate,” FDNY Battalion Chief John Porretto said at the scene. “Units are going to remain on scene until all the smoke alleviates.”

The fire marshal will determine the causes of the fire.

A second blaze broke out 15 minutes later on the Upper East Side at 1576 2nd Ave., officials said.

A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th Street in Manhattan that left one dead
A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th St. in Manhattan left one dead.
NYFD

One man died in the fire and a second man was in serious condition at Lenox Hill Hospital, police said.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries battling the blaze and was taken to Cornell Hospital, fire officials said.

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending