New York Daily News

February 8, 2008 

New parole hearing ordered for NY cop killer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ALBANY, N.Y. - A decision granting parole to a man who killed a New York City police officer in a botched 1973 robbery was thrown out Friday by state parole officials who ordered a new hearing.

A parole board's decision in November to release Shuaib Raheem kicked up a storm of protest from police union officials, who said the slain officer's widow and other victims never had the chance to weigh in.

Raheem fatally shot officer Stephen Gilroy, 29, during a robbery of a Brooklyn sporting goods store that turned into a 47-hour hostage standoff.

Parole officials had already suspended Raheem's Jan. 3 release pending review of new victim impact statements. They took another step Friday, nullifying the November ruling as they ordered a new three-member board to consider parole for Raheem, now a 59-year-old inmate at Shawangunk state prison in the Hudson Valley.

Parole spokeswoman Carole Claren-Weaver said the new hearing could be held in about a month.

"Plainly put, anyone who kills a police officer should never even have the hope of walking the streets of our city as a free person again," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said in a prepared statement.

Claren-Weaver said the 1973 crime happened before victim-impact laws were placed on the books in New York state, but that the Brooklyn prosecutor's office was notified before Raheem's initial 1994 hearing in case any victims wanted to make a statement. No victims came forward at that time, she said.

She said the decision Friday was based on standard procedures, not politics.

Beyond the Raheem controversy, the Democratic Spitzer administration has been criticized by some Republicans who claim parole officials are granting release to too many violent felons. Spitzer administration officials deny that the board has changed its policies.