Contact: Albert O'Leary
PBA Communications Director
212-298-9190

or Joseph Mancini
212-298-9150

June 28, 2002
For Immediate Release




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NYC PBA OPPOSES PAROLE FOR COP KILLER

Press conferenceAnthony Bottom, a cold-blooded and unrepentant Black Liberation Army assassin and domestic terrorist, who viciously killed two New York City police officers by shooting them in the back as they responded to a call for help, should be denied parole, PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said today.

Botttom, known now as Jalil Abdul Muntaqim, was one of three murderers who pumped 18 bullets into the backs of 28-year-old police officer Joseph Piagentini and 33-year-old police officer Waverly Jones on May 21, 1971 as they were responding to a call for help at the Colonial Park Houses at 159th Street and Harlem River Drive.

"I am joined here today by the families of police officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones who have been denied husbands and fathers because of Bottom's unthinkably savage and cowardly crime," Lynch said.  "Bottom is a domestic terrorist who continues to believe that he is a political prisoner and who shows no remorse for assassinating these two young police officers and attempting to murder another police officer in California. 

"This Friday he will plead for mercy before the State Parole Board.  We are calling upon the State of New York to send a strong and undeniable message that you can cannot kill a police officer in New York State and expect to walk away a free man one day.  Anthony Bottom should be shown the same mercy that he and his fellow murderers showed their victims.none.  He should never be released from prison."

Lynch and members of the Piagentini and Jones families were joined by Jeff Frayler the President of the Suffolk County PBA and by Gary Dellaraba the President of the Nassau County PBA in presenting a petition of over a thousand names who vehemently oppose the parole of the convicted and unrepentant cop killer.  A background sheet on the crime follows.

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BACKGROUND OF 1971 POLICE ASSASINATIONS COMMITTED BY ANTHONY BOTTOM

At 10:35 p.m. on May 21, 1971, Police Officer Joseph Piagentini, 28, and his partner Waverly Jones, 33, were responding to a routine sick call at the Colonial Park Houses at 159th Street and the Harlem River Drive when they were gunned down from behind by a group of men who had been following them.  They killed Officer Jones quickly with four gunshots and Officer Piagentini slowly and cruelly with 13 gunshots.

Each Police Officer left behind a wife and two children.

Then Police Commissioner Patrick Murphy called the shootings "deliberate, unprovoked and maniacal.the most vicious crime against policemen in this city in memory" and part of an "organized" campaign of violence against police officers. He branded the killers "madmen" and pledged that they would be brought to justice.

Detectives developed information that the group responsible for the killings was the Black Liberation Army, a loosely knit organization dedicated to killing police officers — regardless of color — and robbing banks to finance its activities.   Police Officer Waverly Jones was African American.

The first break in the case came in San Francisco on August 28, 1971, a little more than three months after the assassinations, with the arrests of two men, Anthony Bottom and Albert Washington, both in their early 20s.  They were arrested when they attempted to kill a San Francisco police officer with a machine gun.

At the end of 1971, five men, including these two, were indicted in the murder of Piagentini and Jones with their first trial ending in a hung jury in 1974.  Bottom, Washington and a third defendant, Herman Bell, were convicted on murder charges on April 10, 1975.  They were sentenced to 25 years to life.

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