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Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek April 5, 2024

No, this video doesn't show New York Gov. Kathy Hochul being denied entry into police officer’s wake

If Your Time is short

  • New York Gov. Kathy Hochul attended New York Police Department officer Jonathan Diller’s wake March 29. We found no reports that she was denied entry. 

  • As Hochul left the wake, a mourner confronted her, according to news reports. 

  • Learn more about PolitiFact’s fact-checking process and rating system.

Captured at a distance, the video clip shows a man with his back to the camera, pointing and talking to Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., with a few onlookers. Viewers hear only ambient wind noise until the 27-second clip ends with the sound of people clapping as the two part ways. 

It isn’t immediately apparent what the video shows. Conservative commentator Benny Johnson posted it on Facebook with his interpretation, writing to his 2 million followers that it showed "New York Governor Kathy Hochul being denied entry into the wake for slain NYPD officer Jonathan Diller."

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Diller, 31, was shot and killed during a March 25 traffic stop. Thousands of people attended his wake, including politicians such as former President Donald Trump, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Hochul. 

Johnson’s description of the video is inaccurate. We contacted him for comment and did not hear back by deadline.

(Screenshot from Facebook.)

The video shows a man confronting Hochul as she left Diller’s wake, media reports show. It does not show someone denying her entry to pay her respects. 

"Gov. Kathy Hochul was filmed being confronted by an emotional mourner on her way out of a short visit to the wake for slain NYPD hero Jonathan Diller Friday afternoon — with bystanders applauding as she made her exit," read the New York Post story that included the same footage.

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The man’s identity has not been confirmed.

The New York Post and other news outlets reported that Hochul attended the wake. 

A Hochul spokesperson told CBS News the governor attended the officer’s wake to "offer her condolences and hear from his loved ones who are dealing with unimaginable grief." 

Hochul said her team asked the families before attending the wake. 

"We were told the family is welcoming," Hochul said, according to Politico. "We always check, and they said to come, and I went. And no one told me to leave."

Hochul said she "did a lot of listening" in the wake room.

"But I had to do that. It was important for me to be there for them and to listen to what they wanted to say to the governor of New York," Politico reported her saying.

As Hochul exited the wake, the unidentified man stopped her on the way to her vehicle. She didn’t say what was discussed, Politico reported.

The video shows a confrontation that happened as Hochul was leaving the event, so we rate claims that the video showed someone denying Hochul entry to Diller’s wake False.

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More by Madison Czopek

No, this video doesn't show New York Gov. Kathy Hochul being denied entry into police officer’s wake

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