New York Daily News

Updated: April 4, 2016, 7:08 PM



Abdul Majid, convicted of killing NYPD cop in 1981, dies in jail  


Abdul Majid, then known as Anthony Laborde, brought to the Brooklyn Federal Court after the death of NYPD Officer John Scarangella.

A convicted cop-killing militant who went to jail for gunning down two NYPD officers on a Queens street in 1981, has died, officials said Monday.

Abdul Majid, 65, who was serving a 25-years-to-life sentence at the upstate Five Points Correctional Facility, died in a hospital over the weekend, according to a correction department spokesman.

A spokesman for the Onondaga County Medical Examiner's office said Majid died of natural causes — acute cholecystitis, which is an inflammation of the gall bladder.

Majid, who went by the name Anthony Laborde before landing in prison and converting to Islam, was convicted with an accomplice for the murder of Officer John Scarangella and the attempted murder of Officer Richard Rainey.

The two officers stopped a white van in St. Albans, Queens, at 10:30 April 1981 to question the two men inside about a series of local burglaries.

Majid and Black Liberation Army partner James Dixon-York emerged from the van with guns blazing, emptying their 15-shot, 9-mm. pistols at the helpless cops.

Scarangella died after the attack. Rainey survived, but was forced to quit the department. He died last year.

Dixon-York died in prison in 2009.

Police Officer John Scarangella was gunned down on a Queens street in 1981.

Majid was scheduled for a parole hearing next month.

Detective Tom Nerney, who investigated the case, said he was pleased Majid never had another moment of freedom.

"He has gone to his final arraignment," Nerney said. "He brought a lot of misery upon a lot of people."

Police union head Patrick Lynch also said good riddance to murderer.

"Anthony Laborde was a cold-blooded cop-killer whose death in prison is not deserving of any righteous person's tears. The city of New York and this earth is a far better place without the likes of Laborde and his band of blood thirsty domestic terrorists,” Lynch said.

“We reserve our sympathies for the families of Police Officers John Scarangella, whose life he cut short, and for Richard Rainey, who lived his remaining years is terrible pain from the 14 shots he took from those animals."

State Assemblyman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) said he reached out to the state Correction Department on behalf of Majid's family members who were contacted by the prison chaplain to inform them that he had been transferred Friday from the prison to a hospital where a procedure was performed, and that he died on Sunday.

Abdul Majid, then known as Anthony Laborde, was serving 25-years-to-life sentence in the death of NYPD Officer John Scarangella and the attempted murder Officer Richard Rainey.

"Any family would be concerned about the lack of information about the details that led up to their loved one's death," Barron said.

"I supported him because he was a political prisoner. He served his time and he was a political prisoner. It seemed that the system wants members of the Black Liberation movement to die in prison."

Barron said there should be an independent investigation of the circumstances of Majid's death.

"We're very concerned and I'm very suspicious when political prisoners die," Barron said.

The medical examiner’s office said there was no autopsy performed due to a religious objection that the inmate had expressed to state officials before his death.

Investigators believe BLA member Joanne Chesimard, convicted in the 1973 killing of New Jersey State Police trooper Werner Foerster, was inside the van that morning, sources familiar with the case said.

Chesimard, who had busted out of prison in 1979, remains a fugitive living in Cuba under the name Assata Shakur.