WORCESTER, Mass. - Three city councilors were instructed by City Manager Edward Augustus to not attend the wake and funeral services for fallen Worcester Police Officer Enmanuel “Manny” Familia, sources said.
City Councilor At-Large Khrystian King, District 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera and District 1 Councilor Sean Rose were told that Familia's family did not want them at the services, sources say.
Rose in a statement said the city manager called him on Tuesday to inform him of the family's wishes.
“I, of course, honored their request,” Rose said. “I didn’t ask why. I will never question the request of a grieving family.”
The city manager’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.
Familia died on June 4 after drowning in Green Hill Pond during the rescue attempt of 14-year-old Troy Love, who also drowned.
Familia's wake was held Wednesday evening at Saint John's Church on Temple Street. Funeral services were held at the church Thursday morning. Familia was laid to rest during a private burial at Saint John's cemetery on Cambridge Street.
King would not comment directly on whether he was asked to not be in attendance.
“Manny Familia lost his life in the midst of an act of valor while trying to save another," King said in a statement. "We should only be considering the ultimate sacrifice that Manny and his loved ones have made while honoring and planning for his continual legacy.”
Councilor Rivera said she met with the Familia family on June 5 to express her condolences.
In an interview with Spectrum News 1, Rivera said, "Right now, it's important for us to honor Officer Familia. Let's give the family the space to grieve and I hope that this is a lesson that we can take. None of this is shocking to anyone of us."
"It's unfortunate. It's sad, but the reality is, I hope this gives us an opportunity to heal," Rivera added. "I don't believe that this came from from (Familia's) wonderful parents."
In March, the three councilors were the only members of the City Council to vote against the Worcester Police Department adopting ShotSpotter Connect, a police crime forecasting technology.
Check back for updates on this developing story.