A feud dividing the family of a slain cop spilled into public view Friday as some relatives rallied for the killer to remain locked up and others called for his release.
Officer Waverly Jones’ intra-family war centers on a state parole board decision to release convicted cop killer Herman Bell.
Just a few hours separated Jones’ brother Manny publicly slamming the decision — and the fallen cop’s son of the same name urging state officials to follow through in granting parole to Bell.
“I find it unconscionable that some want to question the parole board’s integrity in its decision,” Waverly Jones Jr. said in a statement read by Bell’s lawyer Robert Boyle.
Boyle said Bell skipped out on the event at the Center for Constitutional Rights near NYU because of attacks in the media.
“The fact is that Mr. Bell has taken responsibility for his actions, has expressed genuine remorse, is 70 years old and has been in prison for 40 years,” Jones added in the statement.
“In these times of increased hate, we need more compassion and forgiveness.”
Some 40 blocks away, Manny Jones questioned his nephew’s motivations.
“I don’t know what’s on his mind,” said the slain officer’s brother.
“Somebody must have offered him something because I can’t see why he would be doing this.”
Manny Jones was joined by Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch and family members of Officer Harry Ryman whose family is fighting to keep convicted killer Cornelius Bucknor behind bars.
Lynch railed at the parole board for making the decision without seeking the opinion of Jones’ brother.
“This needs to be suspended and there needs to be an investigation of the parole board,” Lynch said.
Bell, an ex-Black Liberation Army member, and two others were charged with killing the officers after luring them to a Harlem housing project in May 1971.
Jones died instantly after taking a bullet to the head from 6 inches away.
Piagentini was tortured and shot 22 times as he begged the merciless killers for his life.
Bell spent 45 years in jail before he was approved for parole on his eighth appearance before state officials.
“There was nothing political about the act, as much as I thought at the time,” Bell told the parole board earlier this month.
“It was murder and horribly wrong.”
The decision to free Bell drew praise from Waverly Jones Jr. — and swift condemnation from his brothers as well as Piagentini’s family.
Mayor de Blasio also criticized the ruling.
The cop killer, who also pleaded guilty to gunning down a San Francisco police officer, could be released from the maximum-security Shawangunk Correctional Facility as early as April 17.
“To see that this guy is getting out and my brother is not coming home, why should he walk the streets anymore?” said Jones’ brother Manny.
“I never heard of a cop killer walking the streets anymore. Why would that be? He shot three cops. Three cops.”