May 16, 2014

Keeping Cop-Killers Behind Bars


Play videoEvery two years, relatives of slain police officers must steel themselves to testify before Parole Board hearings in an attempt to keep those who killed their loved ones behind bars.

“It’s kind of like pulling a Band-Aid off,” said Margaret Ryman, one of five children of Police Officer Harry Ryman, who was killed off-duty in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn when he tried to stop three men from stealing his neighbor’s car. “...It takes weeks to prepare for and it takes weeks to get over it.”

Ms. Ryman, joined by Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch, talked to reporters outside the Parole Board offices on West 43rd St. after she and other family members of slain NYPD officers made victims’-impact statements to the board. Ms. Ryman was one of 14 members of both families, ranging in age from an infant girl in her father’s arms to grandparents, who appeared at a PBA press conference.

Officer Ryman was killed Aug. 14, 1980. Another officer, Anthony T. Dwyer, died in the early hours of Oct. 17, 1989, after he was pushed off a Times Square rooftop by a robbery suspect he was chasing.

Eddie Matos, convicted in the death of Officer Dwyer, comes up for parole for the first time this year, the PBA said. Barrington Young, one of three men convicted in Officer Ryland’s death, was denied parole in the past and has reapplied this year.

Among the delegation of family members was Police Officer Matthew Ryman, who carries his grandfather’s shield, number 24227.

Mr. Lynch urged New Yorkers to visit the PBA website at to participate in the Keep Cop-Killers in Jail program. Visitors can notify the Parole Board of their opposition in a particular case, or in all cases of murdered cops, by clicking on links. Hundreds of thousands of people have sent messages through the site.