November 30, 2015 5:45 pm


Colleagues Watch As Alleged Cop-Killer Pleads Not Guilty


PATRICK J. LYNCH: Will keep the pressure on.  

In a courtroom crowded with angry cops, Tyrone Howard pleaded not guilty Nov. 24 to the murder of Police Officer Randolph Holder.

Mr. Howard, 31, a career drug-dealer who was free on a court-ordered diversion program under which he was supposed to get treatment for PCP addiction, is charged with fatally shooting Officer Holder, 33, in the head Oct. 20. The cop and his partner were chasing Mr. Howard near the FDR Drive in East Harlem after he fled the scene of a gun battle at a housing project, authorities said.

Officer’s Credo

Many of the dozens of cops bearing witness to Officer Holder’s slaying wore blue T-shirts with the words “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” Officer Holder—who was posthumously promoted to Detective—texted that message to colleagues on the day he was killed.

They were silent in the courtroom but stared down Mr. Howard as he muttered his plea of not guilty. The charges include aggravated murder, second-degree murder and robbery. Bail was not granted.

Officer Holder’s father, other family members and his partner, Omar Wallace, were in the courtroom. Officer Wallace shot and wounded Mr. Howard in the leg after he shot Officer Holder. Mr. Howard was using a cane to get around.

“We found out what a true hero Randolph Holder was, an ordinary hero,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch said outside the courtroom. “A person that went home to his family each and every day, came to work each and every day, to protect your families.”

Mr. Lynch said PBA members will be in court every time Mr. Howard has an appearance.

Randolph Holder Sr., who retired as a police officer in the Holders’ native Ghana, stood beside the PBA leader.

“The death of Detective Holder shook our city and left his loved ones without a fiancée, a son and a brother,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. “This prosecution will not bring back this brave public servant, but we hope, by seeking justice, it will bring a measure of comfort for Detective Holder’s family, his colleagues in the NYPD, and the city as a whole.”