Health Care

NYPD Commissioner Calls Decision To Grant Parole For Convicted Cop Killer 'Indefensible'

NYPD Commissioner Calls Decision To Grant Parole For Convicted Cop Killer 'Indefensible'”

Black Liberation Army killer Herman Bell has been granted parole, 47 years after shooting dead two NYPD cops, sparking fury among the victims' families.

Last fall, a New York State corrections officer was suspended, after Bell said the guard assaulted him.

The law has since been changed in New York State to permit a sentence of life without parole for defendants convicted of killing law-enforcement officers.

Bell had been denied parole seven times before.

In his Facebook post, Kerik referenced a 1979 book on the slayings, "Badge of the Assassin" and said: "Never thought I would see the day that Herman Bell would walk out of a prison a free man".

"He has satisfied all the criteria for parole, he has expressed remorse, he has an unblemished prison record and he's been extremely involved in helping others inside", Boyle said.

Herman Bell, a former Black Revolutionary Army thug who lured Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones to a housing project in 1971, was granted clemency recently - despite past parole board rejections of his earlier bids that argued freeing Bell "would depreciate the severity of this crime", the New York Post reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors said it was a trap set by Bell and co-defendant Anthony Bottom, who also was convicted and is serving 25 years to life but is due for a parole hearing in June.

The BLA included members of the Black Panther Party and operated in the US from 1970 to 1981. The group sanctioned symbolic killings of police officers, regardless of their race, in NY and California and robbed banks to finance its activities, authorities have said. For many years, he denied his guilt and claimed he had been framed.

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In 2007, Bell and Bottom accepted plea deals and got probation sentences for their roles in the killing of San Francisco police Sgt. John Young inside a stationhouse in his city in 1971.

Jones was killed with a gunshot to his head, as Piagentini was shot shot 22 times, including with his own service revolver - as the dying officer pleaded for his own life.

Then before the parole board in 2012, Bell copped to his involvement in the murders. "It is only correct that the parole board apply the law in this controversial case and granted him parole and we are gratified they did so". "It was disgusting, something that I did and feel great remorse for having done it".

That didn't change Diane Piagentini's opinion of his release, which she said "devalues the life of my fearless husband". "His release strikes at the hearts and souls of all of us who have lost an officer in the line of duty".

"There are no words to express our anger and disgust that they have granted release to a cold-blooded cop-killer who successfully gamed the system in two states to win his freedom", Pat Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said in a statement.

It's unclear when Bell will be released. Republican U.S. Rep. Pete King, whose father was a police lieutenant who attended the officers' funerals in 1971, on Wednesday called Bell's parole "a shameful insult" to their memory.

Partners: Patrolmen Joseph Piagentini (left) and Waverly Jones (right) were friends as well as fellow officers. While in prison, Bell earned a master's degree and learned to play the flute. The lack of respect shown by members of the parole board, who are all appointed by the governor, in making this decision, is absolutely outrageous and a total disgrace.

The decision comes about a year after a NY parole board denied release to former Weather Underground radical Judith Clark, who drove a getaway auto in a bungled 1981 armored-car robbery that led to the deaths of two Nyack police officers and a security guard.

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