New York Daily News

Jan. 5, 2012


Todd Scott, the man who killed Police Officer Edward Byrne, is denied furlough

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly objects to release for funeral

By John Marzulli / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

  Bill Turnbull/New York Daily News

Todd Scott during sentencing in Officer Edward Byrne's murder

A notorious cop killer's bid for a furlough to attend his grandmother's funeral in New York City has been rejected after Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly strongly objected, the Daily News has learned.

The audacious request by Todd Scott, who is serving a life sentence for gunning down Police Edward Byrne as he sat in an NYPD radio car guarding a prosecution witness' home in Queens, was actually given serious consideration by state officials.

"It's the new kinder and gentler corrections department," fumed a police insider.

Linda Foglia, a spokewoman for the state Department of Corrections, said Scott's request was denied for security concerns on Tuesday after a "thorough and careful review."

The decision was made by Dale Artus, superintendent of the max-security Wende Correctional Facility in upstate Erie County where Scott is an inmate, said Foglia.

State officials had contacted the NYPD and discussions were underway about escorting such a high-profile convict.

Scott would be escorted by state correction officers, but the NYPD would have to provide advance intelligence on the funeral location and backup by heavily armed Emergency Service Unit cops in case an attempt was made to free Scott, the source said. The same source cast doubt on the state's assertion that the proposal was nixed two days ago, noting logistics were still being discussed within the NYPD on Wednesday.

When Kelly learned of the proposal, his opposition was conveyed to state officials, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

"Commissioner Kelly opposes furloughs for any reason for anyone convicted of killing a police officer and opposes diversion of police resources," Browne said.

Foglia had no immediate comment as to why Scott's request wasn't dismissed out of hand given the nature of his conviction.

Byrne, a rookie cop, was murdered February 26, 1988 with five bullets to his head by a team of killers, including Scott, acting on the orders of drug kingpin Howard (Pappy) Mason.

Byrne's killing shocked the city and galvanized the NYPD to launch an unprecedented street war against crack dealers.

"This cold-blooded cop killer denied a young police officer, Edward Byrne, every good and enjoyable thing that life held in store for him when he was assassinated Edward for no other reason than being a police officer," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch.

"It is an outrage that this miscreant's request for a furlough should get any consideration at all. He deserves no better treatment than he gave Officer Byrne."

Scott recently turned 43. Next month, Byrne would have marked his 45th birthday.