Wake services held for NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller, a Franklin Square native


Jonathan Diller, the 31-year-old New York City police officer who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Far Rockaway on March 25, grew up in Franklin Square and loved sports, according to neighbors and former coaches. Diller led the lacrosse team at St. Mary’s High School, in Manhasset, to a state championship in 2010.

He leaves behind his wife, Stephanie, and their nearly 1-year-old son, Ryan, at their home in Massapequa Park.

The Franklin Square school district released a statement on March 26, offering condolences to Diller’s family. “Officer Diller exemplified the very best of our community, dedicating his life to serving and protecting others as an officer for the NYPD,” it read. “His unwavering commitment to justice, compassion and courage inspired those who had the privilege of knowing him. It has been shared by staff that Officer Diller exhibited outstanding character, leadership and integrity during his time at John Street School. He embodied the values we strive to instill in all our students, leaving a legacy of courage that will continue to inspire future generations.”

At a wake at the Massapequa Funeral Home, in Massapequa Park, on March 28 and 29, family and friends gathered to pay their respects. Among the attendees was former President Donald Trump.

Diller’s funeral was held on Saturday at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, in Massapequa. At the service, Stephanie Diller spoke of her husband’s infectious personality, saying that their “lives were pretty much perfect until five days ago, when everything changed forever.”

Diller had been a member of the NYPD for three years, and had received several honors. He was described by fellow officers at the 105th Precinct, where he worked, as a “cop’s cop.” He was posthumously promoted to detective first grade, which was announced by NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban at his funeral.

A number of organizations have stepped up to support Diller’s family. Several businesses in Franklin Square hosted fundraisers, including Trotter’s Bar and Grill, Lia’s Pizzeria and the Flower Shoppe.

Nick Altilio, the owner of Trotter’s, said he had known Diller’s family for 50 years. He ran the youth dek hockey program at Saint Catherine of Sienna Church, coached with Jonathan’s brother, Eric, and coached Jonathan as a young player.

“He was just a good kid,” Altilio recalled. “A hardworking kid. A funny kid, and it’s just a shame.”

The Nassau County Police Department is collecting donations for the Diller family, and is requesting items like baby food, toys and wipes. Alternatively, people can give gift cards from local restaurants and grocery stores, or stores such as Amazon and Target. Donations can be brought to the NCPD’s 7th Precinct, at 3636 Merrick Road in Seaford, until Friday.

The New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, also known as Answer the Call, plans to give $50,000 to Diller’s widow and son, as well as a $10,000 annual stipend.

Achiezer, a community resource center based in Lawrence and Far Rockaway, and the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula, have raised more than $16,000 to help Diller’s family.

Stephanie Diller offered her thanks for the support. “I wish Jonathan was here to see the incredible kindness and generosity that has been shown to our family, but I know, in his own way, he is here, watching over us,” she said. “I am so proud that thousands of people across the country are calling Jonathan a hero, but the truth is he has always been a hero to Ryan and me. The rest of the world is just catching up.”

On March 27, Franklin Square schools lowered their flags to half-staff to honor Diller’s memory. “In the days ahead, as our community tries to comprehend his tragic passing, we invite you to join us in paying tribute to a remarkable individual who made a lasting impact on our community and beyond,” the district’s statement read.

The Franklin Square Civic Association put up blue ribbons on lampposts along Hempstead Turnpike to honor Diller, and Sandy’s Party Supply and Balloon Brothers Company gave blue ribbons to community members to show support for Diller’s family.

During a traffic stop on March 25, Diller was allegedly shot by Guy Rivera, 34, a passenger in a car driven by Lindy Jones, 41, who refused to roll down the car’s windows.

Rivera, who was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder for attempting to fire his gun at an NYPD sergeant, had at least 21 prior arrests, according to police officials. Jones was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Jones is due back in court on April 16 and Rivera is due back in court on May 7.

Rivera faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. Jones faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the current charges, in addition to 15 years on a separate open weapons charge from April 2023.