The city's police union is seeking a new hearing to block the parole of cop killer Herman Bell, saying that his victim's relatives never had the chance to object to his release.
The brother of Waverly Jones, one of two officers executed by Bell in 1971, only found out about Bell's pending release as early as April after reading about it in the Daily News.
The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association contends he should have had the chance to object.
Bell, a member of the Black Liberation Army, and two others lured Jones and Officer Joseph Piagentini to a Harlem housing project and shot Jones in the back of the head in 1971. Piagentini was tortured and shot 22 times.
Bell also pleaded guilty in 2009 to killing San Francisco police officer John Young.
Herman Bell (HANDOUT)
Jones' son, Waverly Jr. wrote the Parole Board saying the family had forgiven Bell, but the slain cop's brother, Manny Jones, told The News that the son didn't represent the family's wishes.
The Parole Board also never reviewed records of Bell's initial sentencing hearing, nor did the panel say whether it reviewed a recent victim impact statement from Diane Piagentini, the widow of officer Joseph Piagentini, the PBA contends.
"My family and I are devastated at the board's decision to release Herman Bell, my husband's murderer," Piagentini said in a statement Wednesday.
"I join Waverly Jones' brother and sister in the belief that Bell can get out when my Joseph comes back.
The union is requesting Bell's parole be suspended until a new hearing can be held.
Diane Piagentini (l.), the widow of Police Officer Joesph Piagentini, joins PBA President Patrick Lynch (r.) and PBA board members in condemning Bell's parole release. (SUSAN WATTS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
"It seems very strange to New York City police officers that this board has failed to review critical sentencing minutes that had been available to all seven prior panels that refused to release this cold-blooded killer," PBA president Patrick Lynch said, adding that the "three most junior" members of the board made up the panel that released Bell.
"It certainly gives the appearance that the deck was stacked in favor of the release of this heartless, cold-blooded murderer," Lynch said.
Bell's lawyer, Robert Boyle, maintains that Jones Jr. made clear he didn't speak for all of Jones' relatives.
Waverly Jones' relatives Manny Jones (pictured) and Glenna Wright do not want Bell released from prison. (SUSAN WATTS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
"He says he speaks for himself, his mother and his sister, which is true. He never said he speaks for the Jones family," Boyle said.
Boyle said the PBA doesn't have standing to request a new hearing.
"The issue is between the parole board and the offender," he said. "The PBA thinks that anyone convicted of killing a cop should get life without parole. They're entitled to their opinion, but that's not the law."