On Tuesday, police union officials said that the last of three convicted Black Revolutionary Army members jailed for murdering two NYPD cops nearly 50 years ago is set to be released on parole in October.
According to Pix 11 News, Anthony Bottom, who has spent more than 43 years in prison for his role in the assassinations of Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones in 1971, will be freed by October 20th.
Piagentini’s widow, Diane Piagentini was infuriated by the board’s decision. “We are heartbroken to see another of Joe’s killers set free by politics. But more than anything else, we are angry,” she said in a statement.
The widow had pleaded with the board to keep Bottom locked up for the rest of his life at his October 2018 parole hearing.
Bottom, Herman Bell, and Albert Washington were convicted of luring Piagentini and Jones to a Harlem housing project with a fake 911 call and then assassinating them in cold blood.
Bell was freed on parole in April 2018 after 40 years in prison while Washington died behind bars of liver cancer in the year 2000.
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association blamed state policies for Bottom’s release.
“Gov. Cuomo and the State Legislature have spent years torturing crime victims, especially the hero families of fallen police officers,” Lynch said in a statement. “They knew that changing the parole guidelines would unleash more vicious killers like Anthony Bottom back onto our streets.”
Bottom was granted parole after appealing the board’s October 2019 decision to keep him behind bars.