‘I’m going to fight’: Mother of CATS driver Ethan Rivera talks next steps in justice for son’s death

“You know when I’m home here, I have a picture in my bedroom and the living room, and I talk to him all the time,” she said.
Tonight -- Ethan's mother, Sylvia Rivera, says her pain, pushes her forward and she wants to create a REAL change in her son's memory.
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 6:05 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In the weeks since the murder of Ethan Rivera, the pain remains for his family.

His mother, Sylvia Rivera, says she is pushing forward to create real change in her son’s memory.

“Anything I can put out there for my son, I’m going to fight,” Sylvia Rivera said. “I’m going to fight because his life is not going to go down in vain like that.”

Related: ‘I was beside myself’: Mother, girlfriend of CATS bus driver Ethan Rivera react to murder suspect’s arrest

She says Ethan Rivera’s murder will be the catalyst for change, starting with increased safety measures for CATS bus drivers. The native New Yorker was shot while driving a CATS bus on Feb. 11. He died from his injuries the next day.

“They should have that law where it’s a felony. Maybe people think twice,” Sylvia Rivera said, referring to a potential punishment for anyone who assaults a bus operator.

She also mentioned the safety measures inside the bus.

“You know they should put bulletproof partition for the driver,” Sylvia Rivera said. “They have to have more safety for the drivers if they’re getting hurt. They’re getting spit on. They’re getting broken noses. They’re getting hit with stuff. You know, this was a thing that was going to happen.”

Rivera says her faith has helped her during this time.

“You know when I’m home here, I have a picture in my bedroom and the living room, and I talk to him all the time,” she said.

With the release of the surveillance video Friday, she says the deadly outcome between her son and suspect Darian Thavychith could have been avoided.

Related: CMPD: Suspect arrested in Kansas in murder of CATS bus driver Ethan Rivera

“Why, Why? Were those words so harsh for you?” she asked.

The mother also says CATS only gave her family a few days’ notice. She wishes the video would have never been released, worrying about her grandkids.

“It’s hard to say the right feeling. It’s traumatizing. It’s very traumatizing,” she added.

The next step, Sylvia says, is being in the courtroom.

“We’re going to be there so he could see his family and what he took away, which I don’t think he really cares because he did what he did anyway. And I would like to make a statement, impact statement at the end,” she said.

In remembering her son, Sylvia also talked about forgiveness.

“Right now, I don’t have the forgiveness ... right now. Like I know that I have to forgive for not for him, but for myself. But not yet,” she added.

This Saturday, there will be a memorial service for Ethan Rivera in New York.

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