Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I-East Fishkill) was joined by a coalition of state lawmakers today at a press conference launching a public petition calling on the state to deny parole to cop killer Anthony Bottom. Bottom was one of the three Black Liberation Army members convicted of the brutal assassination of two New York Police Officers in 1971. He was also convicted in the assassination of a police officer in California.
The parole of Bottoms accomplice, Herman Bell, was a monumental injustice. The parole board should have denied his parole, but it is not too late for them to do the right thing and keep serial cop-killer Bottom behind bars for life, said Lalor, whose father-in-law, Jack Martin, served with the NYPD officers killed by Bell and Bottom.
On the evening of May 21, 1971, after answering a call outside a Harlem housing project near Macombs Dam Bridge, NYPD 32nd Precinct Officers Joseph A. Piagentini (aged 28) and Waverly M. Jones (aged 33) were ambushed and shot in the back multiple times. As the officers pleaded for their lives, they were brutally shot over and over again Piagentini was shot over 22 times alone. Both officers were killed in the planned attack by Bottom, Bell and their third accomplice, Albert Washington. During the trail, Bell, Bottom and Washington (who died in 2000) claimed this violence was part of a plan of war against the United States by the radical Black Liberation Army. They were each given the maximum sentence at the time, 25 years to life.
Lalor was joined by a large coalition of state lawmakers including Assembly colleagues Karl Brabenec, Kevin Byrne, Clifford W. Crouch, David DiPietro, Michael Fitzpatrick, Joseph M. Giglio, Steve Hawley, Peter Lawrence, Dave McDonough, Brian Miller, Dean Murray, Ed Ra, and Daniel Stec. Many state senators also joined including John DeFrancisco, Pat Gallivan, Marty Golden, Patty Ritchie, and Sue Serino.
The state parole board plans to consider the parole of Anthony Bottom, also known as Jalil Abdul Muntaqim, the week of June 11, 2018. Lalor is asking the public to join him and state lawmakers in calling for the parole to be denied. Reforms made to the states parole system in 2005 prohibited serious felons, like cop killers, from ever being paroled; however, because Bottom was convicted before that time, he remains eligible. To sign the petition, please click here.