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NYPD officers pack the courtroom for arraignment of man accused of killing fellow officer

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New York Daily News

The man behind the wheel of a car whose passenger is accused of shooting and killing NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller on a Queens street last month told cops he didn’t see it coming.

“I didn’t know it was going to left like that,” driver Lindy Jones told detectives shortly after the shooting that killed a husband and father, according to police. “There was no reason for it to go left like that.”

Jones’ statement was read at his arraignment Tuesday in Queens Criminal Court on criminal charges of possession of a weapon.

Nearly 50 police officers filled the courtroom, including Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry, who later blasted Jones for taking no responsibility for his actions. Officials said Jones, 41, had a gun in the car, which was not the murder weapon.

“We’re going to continue to pack these courtrooms to make sure that there’s justice for our hero brother Jonathan Diller,” Hendry said outside the courtroom.

“This individual was arrested for an illegal firearm in that car. And he still, as you see in the courtroom, is not taking responsibility for it. Less than a year ago, he was arrested for an illegal firearm. Why was he back on the streets?”

Cops also packed a Queens courtroom last month when Guy Rivera, 34, was officially charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting Diller and with attempted murder for trying to shoot Sgt. Sasha Rosen during a car stop in Far Rockaway.

Rivera’s gun jammed after he fired a single fatal shot and Rosen escaped unharmed, officials said.

Rivera, who was shot by police, was arraigned via video from his Jamaica Hospital bed in Queens.

Police said Rivera, spotted moments earlier by Rosen with a gun in his hoodie pocket, tried to prevent Diller from pulling him out of the Kia Soul he had just entered.

Rosen and Diller asked Rivera several times to roll down the window, prosecutors said.

Once they got the door open, Rivera slowly removed his seat belt before quickly reaching for his gun and blasting Diller. The bullet lodged in Diller’s hip, striking an artery and causing massive internal bleeding, prosecutors said. Another officer returned fire, hitting Rivera twice.

Jones told cops after he was arrested that he did not know Rivera, claiming he’d just picked him up when he asked for a ride.

“I am here for the thing with the police,” he told detectives, according to a statement read in court. “The one that died. I was the driver. They’re trying to get me to implicate him but they got cameras. You don’t need me to say anything.”

Despite the fatal shooting of a police officer, Jones claimed that cops had no right to search his car.

“My license is good. The car is legit,” he said. “They had no reason to search my car.”

Jones insisted he had nothing to do with Diller’s death.

“I can’t shake the way he did it,” Jones said. “They’re not going to offer him a plea. They’re not gonna be like, ‘Give up your other man’s s–t and we’ll take something off.’ They’re coming down on him.”

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