Wall Street Journal
June 5, 2010

Parole for Man in Death Of Officer Brings Protests

A man in prison since 1973 for the murder of a New York City police officer during a botched robbery that turned into a hostage situation was granted parole Thursday, prompting protests from police union officials and the slain officer's family.

On Jan. 19, 1973, Shu'aib Abdul Raheem, then 23 years old, tried to rob a Brooklyn sporting-goods store with three others but police showed up. Twelve hostages were taken. An ensuing 47-hour standoff, the longest in NYPD history, ended in the shooting death of Stephen Gilroy, 29. Mr. Raheem was sentenced to serve 25 years to life in 1974.

Mr. Raheem was originally granted parole date in November, 2007. However, the Policemen's Benevolent Association lodged a complaint with the state's Parole Board that the widow and relatives of the slain officer hadn't had a chance to make victim impact statements.

The board voted Thursday to again parole Mr. Raheem, effective no later than July 8.

"I cannot express in words how angry New York City police officers are about this unjust and wrong-headed decision by the Parole Board," said PBA President Patrick Lynch.

"I don't understand this decision at all," said widow Patricia Gilroy in a statement.

—Sean Gardiner