New York Daily News

November 6, 2002

2 more join protest against judge


T The leaders of a top city police union and an NYPD fraternal organization joined a growing chorus yesterday of criticism of a Queens judge who released an alleged cop shooter without bail.

Detectives' Endowment Association President Thomas Scotto and Pablo De Jesus, president of the NYPD's Hispanic Society, said their members will pack Friday's hearing for William Hodges, who is accused of shooting rookie Police Officer David Gonzalez in 1999. Members of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association also will be there.

Hodges, 31, was released from prison Oct. 16 after Queens Supreme Court Justice Laura Blackburne ruled he had not been granted a speedy trial. She moved to dismiss the charges against him.

Blackburne's decision outraged Gonzalez, as well as cops across the city, who charged that the ruling was politically motivated. The suspect's mother, Sandra Hodges, and Blackburne are members of the same NAACP chapter in southeastern Queens.

The judge and Sandra Hodges have denied knowing each other.

"This was an outrageous decision on her part. Hopefully, on his return to court, he should be incarcerated again," Scotto said yesterday. "We will be there to make sure the pressure is on."