New York 1 News

June 26, 2002

Officers Speak Out Against Possible Release Of Cop Killer

Police officers voiced their concerns Wednesday over the possible release of a cop killer.

A group of officers in Harlem joined the widows of two officers killed more than 30 years ago to discuss the parole hearing of Anthony Bottom this afternoon. Bottom and two others were convicted of shooting two police officers in the back in May 1971.

Police representatives say the killers of officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones claimed to be members of the Black Liberation Army. However, the victims' family members say Bottom is no political prisoner.

“What these killers did was an act of cowardice, not war,” said Diane Piagentini, the widow of one of the slain officers. “Anthony Bottom should remain in jail for the rest of his life with no chance ever of parole."

Bottom's parole hearing is scheduled for this Friday.

Police representatives say they want the parole board to send a strong message to those who might pull a weapon on a police officer.